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Mental Health

How to Practice Self-Care as a College Student

Self-care can be a hard thing to practice while being a college student. Between classes, internships, and extracurriculars, we often forget about ourselves and what we need. It’s important, however, to make ourselves a priority and practice self-care on a daily basis. This prevents us from burning out as well as giving us something to look forward to after all the hard work we do. 

1. Find a designated time 

Think about how often you want to treat yourself a week. This could be a daily treat to keep you motivated during the day, or something during the weekends that will act as an incentive to get through the week. Regardless of what timeline works for you, try to be consistent. Self-care is meant to occur all the time, so get into the habit of that! For example, I treat myself to one episode on Netflix every night, and I order takeout once during the weekend from my favorite place. That’s my form of self-care, and it keeps me going throughout the week.

2. Start a morning and night routine

When I did not have a morning and night routine,  I was a MESS. I would get up 5 minutes before my classes, and I would sleep right after working hard on my assignments. What I started to realize is that my day had no structure and that there was no transition during my days. Having a morning routine made me look forward to waking up because it was my time to get myself ready for the day. I would squeeze in a workout, make myself breakfast, or even put on makeup if I was feeling fancy. Before I go to bed, I would do my skincare routine, plan out my day tomorrow, make some tea, etc. It’s the little things that matter! 

Related: The Important of Nightly Routines

3. Find small things that make you happy

When planning your self-care routine, remember that it doesn’t need to be anything too extravagant. Sometimes what will make you the happiest will be something small that you do for yourself. It could be giving yourself some time every night to read a book, or cleaning your space every night if you find that therapeutic. There are so many ways you could go about this! If you want to do something special every day, remember that it is completely manageable! Take out half an hour of your day for yourself, and see the difference it makes for you. 

4. Engage in some sort of physical activity 

I’m sure you’ve heard that working out is a great form of self-care. However, I understand that for some people, working out feels like a chore (it definitely does for me!). When I say physical activity, it can mean in any form! Take a walk during the day and observe the outdoors, or have a quick dance session between assignments. It may sound silly, but it can do wonders for your mood. We sit in front of a computer all day, or we sit in a chair during lectures. Even a quick stretch can feel like a reset for our body and give us the energy to find those darn assignments. 

Related: Preparing Yourself for Finals Week

5. Have social media detoxes 

If you’re like me, you end up in a TikTok hole multiple times a day. Social media has been ingrained in many students’ lives. There isn’t anything wrong with that, the issue is how much time we spend on it. I find myself casually scrolling on Instagram for hours on end while my assignment deadlines get closer. Another issue is the content itself. It’s so easy to start comparing yourself to the people you see on social media. It can negatively impact you mentally. That is why I try to go on a social media detox every once in a while. I delete all my apps, and use that time to do something fun for myself!

Always remember to take care of yourselves, collegiettes!

Shabrina Parikh

George Mason University '21

Hi! My name is Shabrina, and I am a senior majoring in Information Systems and Operations Management. When I am not busy in my RA role, you can find me giving campus tours. I aspire to one day change the world with my words, and make a difference in my own little way.
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