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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Back to school can be a stressful time for many. The start of a new semester means new commitments, requirements and scheduling. During this busy time, it is crucial to keep your own needs in mind and take the time required to care for yourself.

Self-Prioritization

Self-prioritization is a fundamental practice to maintain good mental health. New priorities are an unavoidable part of life, but it’s important not to let them push aside your wants and needs. To attain a full and happy life, your personal needs must be met, and this will only happen when you take the time to care for yourself.

Love Yourself First

Taking care of yourself is crucial. Rather than always putting others first, make sure you have what you need to assist them. This may seem like a selfish mindset, but if you are suffering as a result of helping others, you won’t be able to offer them support. Your needs must be met so that you can help and support those around you. To care for others, you need to be cared for, and the only person who knows exactly what you need is you.

Life is a balance

Scheduling is a helpful practice to avoid overloading and burning out. Keeping your commitments in mind, while paying attention to what you need personally, is key. Planning with yourself in mind includes incorporating time for self-care into your schedule. Whether it be short breaks from assignments or longer periods to indulge in hobbies, take time for yourself. This won’t lead to late assignments or missed chores, but allow your mind and body the time it needs to recover and achieve the task at hand to your fullest potential.

New habits, new perspective

There are many ways to prioritize yourself, whether it be small habits or a new perspective. Daily practices, such as journaling or going for a walk, can help boost happiness and act as a mental check-in. Find time to do things you love and realize the importance of these activities. Overall mindset is the key to self-prioritization. The realization that you and your needs matter is paramount. Forming a perspective centred around your well-being, leads to your well-being. Believing in yourself, your work and your choices creates a confident mindset of self-support.

saying No

Most importantly, you can say no. As opportunities arise, it may seem necessary to take advantage of every opportunity you get. The fear of missing out, accompanied with a desire to get ahead, can be controlling, but saying no is always an option and, often, the best choice. Not every opportunity will be a beneficial one. Evaluate whether or not something is worth your time, will bring you happiness or move your life forward. If you have a choice and are only doing something because you feel like you “should,” take the time to ask yourself why you might need to and whether the task at hand is beneficial for you and your well-being. Consider if saying yes will hinder your ability to complete something more important. Ask yourself if you’re really taking part in these events for your well-being.

You matter

Remind yourself that you are important. It’s easy to forget the worth you possess. You deserve just as much care and attention as you give to others. To obtain that sense of value, you have to care for yourself. Spend time each day assessing your needs and allow enough time for them to be met. Evaluate the importance of your commitments, and don’t underestimate your value.

🥰 Related: Beating Burnout and Back to School Blues
🥰 Related: 5 of Ryerson’s Free Mental Health Resources to Use This COVID-19 Winter

Nalyn Tindall

Ryerson '25

Nalyn is a first year journalism student at Ryerson University, originally from Camrose, Alberta. She is loving living in Toronto and can often be found exploring the city with her friends. When not finding new places to eat or take photos, she's probably watching Netflix or listening to music. She has a love of house plants, her cat, and snacks, as well as a passion for politics and social change which have inspired her to pursue journalism.
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