How UF Practices Self-Care

As stressed college students with way too much on our plates, the importance of self-care is something always popping up. But what does self-care even mean? In its own, self-care is such a broad concept, with definitions varying per person. And that’s okay! There’s not only one way to practice self-care. If you found something that works, then you do you boo! Regardless of what self-care means for you, it is important for you to integrate it within your routine. It’s easy to get lost in the rush of things. After talking to some fellow Gators, here’s some advice to give you that little pep you need.

  1. 1. Consistency is important

    Self-care isn’t something you should be doing once in a while; It should be a part of your regular routine. You should be practicing it at least once a week. Better yet, make it a nightly or morning routine. Even better, both! It doesn’t matter how much of a girl boss you are, you still need that extra “you” time to recharge and get yourself ready to conquer all the things scattered across your color-coded agenda.

    With consistent self-care, you’re more productive and overall happier. If you work on everything but yourself, you’re never going to get the results you want.

    “It's really important to balance work and fun/relaxation,” says journalism major Ellen Bausback. “Actually, self-care can help you be more productive because you're more focused after you take care of yourself.”

    Psychology major Karina Stepp says, “I try to practice self-care as much as I can to prevent myself from getting too stressed or overwhelmed with my studies.”

    “I try to do as much as I can,” says nursing major Brandy Morales. “I usually integrate it whenever I have the chance or when I’m feeling stressed and need to clear my thoughts.”

  2. 2. Cleanse your soul

    Who else can remember being yelled out for having a messy room growing up? We should have listened to our parents more because cleaning can actually be therapeutic. Depleting the clutter in our rooms can somehow make things less stressful. Essentially, it makes us feel like our lives are a bit more put together. Personally, I like to take it up a notch by lighting a candle or too. With jasmine and peony scents flowing throughout the room, things feel cleaner and calmer.

    With candles burning away, it’s a perfect time to shower, moisturize, and slap on a face mask.

    I truly believe you can scrub your stress away. You’re showing your body some love, which is so important to do! You’ll feel like your most fabulous self and you’ll start to look like it too! Yes, that Korean facemask will give you a nice glow, but with reduced stress and more confidence, you’ll radiate from the inside as well! All the better for when you go take on the world.

    During me-time, I personally love Freeman’s Dead Sea Minerals Facial Anti-Stress Mask. Pricing at only $3.85 on Amazon, this mask lasts me months and never fails to calm my worries. Plus, it makes my face feel smoother than a baby’s butt (it’s majestic).

    To practice self-care, advertising major Julia Davis likes to, “Stay in, clean my room, do laundry, face mask, self-tan.”

    Telecommunications major Olivia says, “Every night, I have a routine that consists of a long hot shower and a skin-care routine. Every two weeks, I make at home ‘spa-days’. I will take a bath with a bath bomb, do my nails and wear a face mask.”

  3. 3. Shake it off

    With stress piling up, exercising can help you release all your pressures. I’m not saying you have to do stadiums (believe me, I could never), but at UF there are so many options. Try out a free class at Student Rec or Southwest! With such beautiful scenery, even going for a walk can help you breathe and clear your mind. If you’re tired of campus, head out to Paynes Prairie to really be in the midst of nature. You might even see a wild horse or two!

    Think it’s too hot outside? Go to Lake Wauberg! While it may not be the same as the beach, being by the water can still be therapeutic. Try picking up a paddle and go kayaking or canoeing. Even going out for an hour can be enough to recharge and take a breather. Plus it’s free! That way you won’t have to add your bank account to your list of worries.

  4. 4. Netflix and *actually* chill

    After a long day, this can be the easiest way to clear my mind. Laying down with my candles burning and Netflix playing can be one of my favorite ways to relax. It’s okay to immerse yourself in a new show or movie every once in a while. Just keep in mind the genre you choose in correlation with whatever mood you’re in. Like if you’re sad, maybe choose a comedy and not a tragedy. Pick an old favorite. Put on a throwback comedy. The nostalgia alone can make you feel better. And there’s no shame in re-watching Friends or the Office for the thousandth time. Looking for some reality TV realness, "Queer Eye" will never fail to make you feel like a queen wanting to take on the world.

No matter how crazy your schedules may get, your self-care and wellbeing should always come first. By skipping it, you won’t get as much done anyways. It doesn’t have to be a long routine. Even a calming cup of tea before bed can make a difference. So, take care of yourselves, my friends. Show yourself that love you’re showing others. If it’s a consistent issue, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for some help. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a face mask to put on.