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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

I have two words for you Self. Care. Something us on-the-go girls likely don’t do enough of in college but absolutely need to stay sane throughout the year on campus. It’s something I constantly find difficult to keep up with in the wake of busywork homework readings, exams, extra activities, internships, and anything else you do that doesn’t involve stopping for a moment and taking care of yourself. Self care is something that has become so stereotyped since the evolution of social media, YouTube night routines, and the new age of other platforms, too. However, the nice thing about self care is that it doesn’t have to be all face masks and bath bombs. That’s just not realistic. So here are some self care ideas that are realistic. 

1. Get Creative 

This might be intimidating for some people who might not consider themselves to be the crafty type. But in reality, getting creative can be as simple as cutting up magazines to make vision boards or planning a cute outfit to wear out on a Friday night. This is low stress and low pressure. Anything creative you can think to do that brings you joy is a great option for this idea. It can seriously help to get out of your head for a little bit and do something creative and mindless that you don’t have to think much about. 

2. Introvert for a Night 

Yes, I just used the word “introvert” as a verb. Sometimes, things become too “go, go, go” and you just need to relax for a little bit. Getting comfortable being by yourself is something difficult for some people to grasp, but it’s good for you! Do something you love to do but don’t always get the opportunity to do. This can be laying in bed watching a movie with snacks or even journaling and getting your thoughts and stressors out onto paper. This helps to calm your mind and will leave you feeling mentally refreshed to take on the following day.

3. Call a Friend 

If you go to school far from your closest friends from home or high school, make time to call them. It can be challenging to coordinate since everyone is on different schedules or lives in different time zones. However, reconnecting with friends you don’t see or hear from all the time can be refreshing and energizing. Plus, catching up and swapping the latest life stories is a fun way to stay close with them. If you’re feeling extra chatty, try setting up a group FaceTime call with you squad so you can all talk together at once, just like old times. 

4. Clean Your Space 

For some, the last thing you want to hear is “clean your room”. After all, you don’t live at home anymore and one of the best parts is probably not hearing your mom say this all the time anymore. But cleaning up a little bit and getting your space back together can really help organize your mind too. Vacuum your room for once, do your laundry, and put away the pile of clothes on the clean clothes chair that you definitely don’t sit at your desk in to do homework. This is one of my favorites because a clean space can really minimize the stressors in your life, allowing you to focus on much more important things than making your bed. 

In college, it can become extremely difficult to balance everything you have going on, and self care is the one thing that almost always gets put on the back burner. However, your busy lifestyle can take a moment off each day to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. While taking a bath or doing a hair mask can do wonders, these few ideas dig deeper into your life, likely to leave a more lasting impact on your mind so you always wake up feeling confident about the day ahead. 

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Hi there! I'm Kendall and I'm a sophomore in advertising at the University of Illinois. Aside from staying busy writing at my internship and running around campus, you can find me adding to my monthly Spotify playlists, listening to true crime podcasts, running at the arc, or having cozy movie nights with friends!
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