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Wellness > Mental Health

The Power of Wellness: 7 Things I Do to Prioritize Self-Care as a Student

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

For students, wellness is super important as it can have a significant impact not only on their academic performance but in their overall quality of life. Taking care of your body and mind will provide you with the energy, focus and tools to cope with stress and anxiety needed to succeed in your academic pursuits. Sounds easy, a three-step plan: think – plan – execute. However, balancing having a healthy lifestyle while being a full-time student and employee is perhaps one of the biggest challenges I have faced since starting this extreme sport called “adulting”. With time, I discovered that while these habits take a lot of effort and perseverance, it is the only way I would feel good, capable, and satisfied.

Here are a few things I do to feel like I have my sh*t together:

Eat a balanced diet

Yes, I know. You’ve heard this everywhere – and for a really good reason. Eating a balanced diet does not have to be aesthetic or perfect, just make sure to include fresh veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and fruits on your everyday eating routine. It was after maybe a month and a half that I started to notice the benefits of nourishing myself properly: my gut health improved, I had more energy, and most importantly, I healed my relationship with food.

Exercise regularly

I can’t stress this enough! I know that as full time students we often get home tired and wish to spend our afternoon watching Netflix or TikTok, but doing any kind of movements (whichever you prefer: yoga, gym, swimming, pilates, etc.) will help you manage the anxiety and stress, as well as make your body feel better.

Get Enough sleep

Yep. The basics – for a reason. Most of the times I hear my friends complaining about how tired they are after sleeping for about 5 hours per night, which is not enough! By not getting enough sleep you are damaging your body and brain, preventing them from performing to their full potential.

Practice mindfulness

This has helped me immensely to feel more grounded and in control of my reality. As a result, I’ve learned to manage my anxiety better which allows me to thrive in various area of my life. Mindfulness can look different depending on your preferences, I like journaling and doing yoga but you can also practice relaxation techniques, read, take a conscious walk, etc.

Keep records

I use Notion, and now that I think of it, I actually have my whole life there: university assignments, work duties, courses, meetings, rendezvous with friends, shopping list, habit tracker, budget, routines, etc. Having everything in a single place and in a systematic and structured way means I can easily access and review that information. It simply gives me a sense of control and peace of mind.

Take breaks

Allow yourself to rest! At the end of the day, you are the most important person of your life and you should treat yourself as that. Life is about the small moments that bring us joy, it can be either a nap, a coffee date, a Netflix episode, but be kind to you.

Have a cat

It’s a joke… unless you don’t want it to be a joke. Lol. It works.

I hope these seven tips for improving your wellness inspires you to try them out! Wellness is essential for maintaining a healthy life, especially as a student, so remember to take care of yourself.

Estefania is a third-year student at uOttawa, currently pursuing a degree in International Studies and Modern Languages. Passionate about politics, feminism, wellness, cooking, and above all, her cat.