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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

The back-to-school season can best be described as one thing: chaos. There’s always way too much going on and my to-do list is usually a few pages long. Most of us are trying to get back into a routine and schedule our days well. Between classes, the gym, clubs and friends, it can leave very little time for taking care of yourself. 

Self-care is insanely important to me. I have found that when I prioritize myself, other aspects of my life also improve. 

For example, when you give yourself time to sit in solitude, you are less likely to become irritated around friends, since you are not constantly around them. Living with roommates at school can make it seem like there is never alone time. This is why it is important to find activities you can do alone such as taking a bath or going to a workout class alone. With some time apart from people you are seeing constantly, you become more tolerable and patient. You don’t necessarily have to leave your place either. It can be as simple as taking some time to read or watch tv in your own room, away from the constant conversation and social stimulation. 

It can be difficult to say no to plans or people, but self-care is about doing what is truly best for you. Where are my people pleasers at? I’m looking right at you when I say this, you don’t owe your time and efforts to anyone or anything. While being kind is important, you can not keep giving from an empty cup. If you want to help out friends, volunteer your time, or make a birthday dinner, remember that you also need to schedule time to show up for yourself. 

At school, many of us don’t get enough sleep. This is because we stay up late with friends, but remember FOMO is a liar. Self-care is going to bed early when you have an 8 a.m. 

An essential part of self-care is understanding that you are worthy of it. You deserve to feel good and be taken care of. This is why I find much comfort in cleaning my space. With a messy room, it can be difficult to focus. Your mind is going from the dirty laundry on the floor, to the mess on your desk. However if you take an hour each Sunday to play some music and clean your space, your whole week can elevate. 

Self-care looks different for each person, and for me, something that brings much joy is planning outfits the night before. Taking a few minutes before bed to think of what I would like to wear the next day helps me feel more prepared and calm in the morning. Instead of rushing and throwing on some sweats each morning, I feel better wearing an outfit I was looking forward to. As they say: look good, feel good. Don’t get me wrong, you will definitely catch me in sweats looking like a mess every now and then. The key to everything is balance. 

My last recommendation would be journaling or any form of reflection at the end of your day. Take time to practice gratitude and name some things you feel grateful for each day. You can also set goals for the day or week and write out your intentions. This helps us stay grounded and focused on what is truly important.

Wishing you all a great year full of self-love and care :) Good luck! 

Hala Abdelrazek

Illinois State '24

Hello everyone! I am a current Junior at ISU. Things I enjoy would include: baking, reading, crafting, and watching tiktoks; halaabdelrazek8. I hope to graduate and work as a Secondary Mathematics teacher. However, due to my love for journalism as well, I am eager to write for HerCampus and be part of this community:)