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7 Ways to Treat Yourself for Better Mental Health

We’ve all been there; it’s 2am on a Wednesday and you’ve barely put a dent into the reading for that quiz tomorrow. Not only that, but you have an exam on Friday and a paper due so the stress is piling up. Regrettably, the last few hours have been spent aimlessly scrolling through Instagram and re-watching Snapchat stories, only to find that no one has posted anything new. All of this procrastinating has led to you reading the same line over and over again because you are so tired that your eyes can’t focus and they keep closing on you.

This moment right here is when you should realize that maybe you need to be taking better care of yourself.

 

The good news is you are not alone, most college kids fall victim to these sleepless nights and stressful days. The bad news is that there is no way to make the work less plentiful and difficult, college will always be loaded with assignments. Although, one thing that can be changed is the manner in which you treat yourself. The best thing about treating yourself right is the stable mental health that follows. Some may say that taking the time out of your day to do something nice for yourself is a waste and is too valuable of study time to give up, but a little pat on the back can go a long way. Devoting all of your time to work and no relaxation can lead to anxiety and even depression, most of which could be avoided with a little R and R. Chances are if you’re reading this blog you are here for ways to take better care of yourself, so lets get down to it.

Enjoy a cup of coffee, anyway you like it

March on over to your favorite coffee shop, or maybe just your Keurig, but do it guilt free. It’s known that coffee wakes you up with caffeine, but it can also provide comfort and that “feel good feeling”. Studies have shown that holding something warm, such as a toasty cup, can cause you to think of someone as emotionally pleasant, and even be friendlier towards others.

Splurge and go get your nails done

Yeah, yeah, yeah, most college kids are on a budget and can barely afford that end-of-a-night-out-pizza, but spoiling yourself with that semi-pricey manicure can lead to a month of satisfaction every time you look at your nails. Wouldn’t you rather spend $30 on self-confidence than one meal out?

Take a trip to your local animal shelter

Nothing will brighten your day and decrease stress more than playing with adorable animals. Can’t make it to an animal shelter?  Just looking at pictures and videos of animals has been known to improve your mood and actually increase your productivity!

Get your stretch on!

Yoga is a great way to get some exercise in while also clearing your head. It is  very convenient because it does not require you to leave your room, allowing more time for studying and less time trekking to the gym. Specific yoga poses such as the mountain pose, handstand, and downward-facing dog, have all been linked to repelling depression.

Unwind with a bath bomb
Let’s be real, a Jacuzzi tub with candles is not realistic for most of us, but there is still hope! Shower bombs are great replacements for bubble baths and use aromatherapy for the calming effect. There are even DIY shower bombs to save money such as this one: 

https://www.youngliving.com/blog/create-your-own-spa-getaway-with-homema…

Bake something yummy

Find a fun recipe on Pinterest and enjoy the therapeutic effects of baking. When you’re all done, invite a friend over to munch on it! You didn’t eat the whole thing if you split it with someone, right?

Go for a long walk or drive alone

Spending some time alone is very beneficial psychologically, and it is important to be able to enjoy it. Alone time has been known to strengthen productivity and concentration. This disconnection from others allows for deep thinking that is much needed.

Through the strain of college work and sleep deprivation, I hope these few tips will find you unwindin’ and dinin’ with some “me-time”. In the wise words of Tom and Donna from Parks and Recreation, “treat yo self.”

Karly is a senior exercise science major and aspiring acupuncturist at the University of Scranton. She loves anything that involves coffee or playing with animals. Her favorite pastime is hanging with her horse, Jack. Follow her on insta @karlym_
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