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11 Totally Free Self-Care Tips for the Stressed Collegiette

Self-care is a popular trend these days, and rightfully so. My Pinterest feed has been filled with nothing but lists of things to buy to promote self-care with the goal being to #treatyoself. Sometimes treating yourself simply comes down to treating yourself right, and luckily, treating yourself right doesn’t always have to involve buying the most expensive bottle of wine at Publix or booking an hour-long massage. Here are some ideas on how to make yourself happy without breaking the bank.

1. Go for a walk

This is probably the easiest thing to do on the list, but it can be super effective. Getting out of a stuffy room and getting some air can change your entire perspective and really calm you down. Everything feels a little lighter when you can take a deep breath of fresh air and feel sunshine wash over you.

2. Steam up your bathroom

Bath bombs and salts are a nice treat, but taking a piping hot shower is definitely underrated, and it doesn’t involved spending $7 on a unicorn fart-scented Lush product. Letting the hot water steam up your entire bathroom helps clear your sinuses, your skin and your mind.

3. Go for a drive

It’s not always easy to disconnect from friends, family and social media, sometimes we need that extra push to be truly alone with ourselves. Getting in the car and cruising around for half an hour or so gets you away from your phone and allows you to listen to yourself.

4. Listen to podcasts

Sitting back with your headphones in and listening to other people discuss anything from life to politics to the latest blockbuster can be relaxing as heck. An outsider’s perspective on anything is refreshing and cathartic.

5. Exercise

All signs point to exercise for stress relief. Releasing those much-needed endorphins can turn your entire day around and boost your energy. It’s not always easy to work up the motivation to put on your tennis shoes and actually get to the gym, but once you start breaking a sweat you’ll immediately be happy with yourself for going.

6. Phone a friend

Sometimes spending time alone is beneficial, but everyone needs support every now and then. Talking to a close friend or family member in person or on the phone gives you that one-on-one contact we as humans crave. Breaking out of the texting mold and having an actual conversation can make you feel more connected.

7. Reread your favorite book

There’s something special about nostalgia, and some of the best nostalgia I’ve ever felt has come from rereading my stained copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Reading through a book that made you feel like you were somewhere else 10 years ago probably still has that same effect today.

8. Change your sheets

My first thoughts on cleaning are normally filled with dread and apprehension, but when I’m feeling especially anxious and can’t will myself to do anything else, cleaning calms me down. Start out by changing your sheets, you’ll be glad you did when you plop into fresh, warm bedding the next night.

9. Take a nap

I’m a huge fan of taking a 20-minute power nap on an especially crazy day. When it all gets to be too much sometimes all you can think of is sleep. Don’t deprive yourself of that shut-eye, take a quick break to rejuvenate, you’ll be way more productive because of it later.

10. Organize your desk

Back to the cleaning thing (I know, I know). Clearing off your primary workspace is so important. A cluttered desk leads to more stress and more anxiety when it comes time to knock out those assignments that have been piling up. Looking at a nice, neat desk is pleasing to the eye and gets you ready to put in that work.

11. Spend time with animals

Who isn’t a million times happier when petting their favorite animal? Gainesville happens to be full of pet rescues of all kinds, so a quick Google search can help you figure out where you can volunteer with your favorite animals.

No matter what self-care route you take, remember to take everything one day at a time and to always put yourself first.

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