Practicing Self Care this Finals Season

Self Care. I’m sure you have heard this term a lot, so let's clarify what it actually means. Self care is not being lazy and neglecting your responsibilities. Self care isn't selfish or narcissistic. Self care IS purposefully taking the time and energy to take care of both your mental and physical health. Through the high stress season of finals it becomes especially crucial to care for your health so that you don't burnout. If you already have a tried and true self care regimen stick to it and don't neglect it now.

Finals means study, study, study, right? Wrong! It is critical to create a balanced schedule of studying, socializing and other needs. Planning out times to study will allow you to take meaningful breaks, work at your own pace and keep you from falling victim to last minute cramming. A great studying rule of thumb is that the sooner you start studying the better. In the future try to make a habit of reviewing throughout the semester to free up time that could be better spent in other ways. Any amount of self care is better than none but self care should not be a weekly thing but a part of your daily routine, so when building your study schedule make time for you everyday.

The importance of sleep and physical health can not be stressed enough, they are essential components to proper mental health. Although the cold weather may put you in the mood to hibernate, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and stay healthy. Going for a walk or run, getting fresh air and staying active are simple things that can make a great difference.

As always it's important to watch what you put into your body. Stay hydrated as always so you can feel your best on test day and the days leading up. Staying hydrated is especially important if you choose to drink coffee, which can be very dehydrating. Too much caffeine can also do more harm than good by increasing anxiety and causing headaches, so skip the Starbucks run and a nice tea instead. While digging into your studies it's tempting to dig into a bag of potato chips or your favorite junk food. But it's important to reach for foods that will fuel your brain rather than make you feel sluggish, such as fruits and grains. It’s ok to indulge in your favorite treat or snack so don’t beat yourself up about it too much but be aware of the harmful sugars you let into your body.

A clean room and workspace makes all the difference. Declutter and organize your room and workspace, a cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind. Not only a clean room but a clean you. Bumming it in the same sweats all day and night may lead you into a downward spiral of letting go of yourself and basic hygiene. Take a shower, wash your hair, brush your teeth don't neglect your basic hygiene.

The last thing you want to do is deprive yourself of what makes you happy. If you find yourself isolating yourself from friends or staying up at odd hours of the night studying something is wrong. Turning off your phone while studying can be great for productivity but don't feel like you have to completely cut yourself off from the outside world. Laughter and human interaction can be the perfect way to destress during finals, a time to vent and enjoy the company of other people. Its as simple as grabbing a meal together, a library buddy or even a facetime call in between studying. If people aren't your thing watch your favorite youtuber or listen to your favorite playlist, whatever makes you happy.

 

Remember a happy healthy you is a productive you and no test is worth sacrificing your health!