Being a college student is incredibly stressful, especially during a pandemic. Sometimes we are so busy, it can be hard to take time just for ourselves. We have the stresses of online classes, friends, staying motivated, homework, studying, and so much more. With all of this, our mental health isn’t always our priority because we aren’t making time for it. But, if our mental health isn’t taken care of, it can be difficult to get those other tasks done because you will be thinking too much about how stressed you are. I know this is true for me because if I am trying too hard to get all my work done before I take a break, I get overwhelmed and can’t make myself focus anymore. This is where I have found self-care to be very important.
To me, one of my favorite feelings is closing all of the tabs, and just taking a break from my schoolwork. I know that this isn’t always possible because of how much studying or homework has to get done, but if possible I think it is important to take breaks. Here are some of my favorite ways to practice self-care:
1. Take a walk outside
When trying to get work done, it can sometimes be up to 7 or 8 hours with no fresh air. This can make you feel tired, more anxious, and really just trapped inside. Even if it is cold outside, you could still take a quick walk to get a coffee, or just even stand outside for a few minutes to breathe in the fresh air. It will almost certainly make you feel refreshed and more motivated to keep doing work.
2. Give yourself enough time to wind down before falling asleep
There can be nights when you are doing homework until you physically can’t keep your eyes open anymore. This will usually result in you going to bed feeling stressed, and also waking up in that same mood. Again, I know there are some nights where you have a close deadline where you need to work extra late, but if possible trying to relax before bed will improve your overall mood. I think that the most important part of this is trying to limit looking at your phone or laptop because it will make it harder to fall asleep. My favorite things to do before bed are listening to relaxing music, or catching up on podcasts.
3. Going Home, or Talking to your Family
Sometimes what we all need is just to talk to our families if we are feeling stressed. If you live close to home, sometimes it can be nice to go home for a night or two just to get away from school and relax. If this is not possible, even calling your parents, or siblings, or anyone at home is sometimes all we need.
4. Planning a Spa or Movie Night with Friends
Planning a fun, self-care night can be something to look forward to while trying to get work done. You could take a trip to target and get face masks, and have a relaxing spa night to wind down from the week. Or, you could go to someones room and watch a fun movie with some snacks, and just take a break from school work.
Overall, it is always important to take time for yourself to take care of your mental health, and know when you need to take a break from schoolwork.