5 Ways to Practice Self-Care in College

As the semester is officially in full swing, the stress of deadlines, juggling extracurriculars, and balancing a social life can get stressful. It can feel like there are limited hours in the day to make sure everything gets done. However, there comes a point and time where your mental, emotional, and physical health comes before anything else. The college environment gets high pressured at times. As students, we balance a lot of different things at once, but this doesn’t mean we should neglect our own needs. Sometimes, it’s okay to take a break from everything and everyone and put yourself first! That said, here are five practical ways to put yourself first in the crazy world of college. 

  1. 1. Exercise

    Taking as little as 30 minutes a couple days a week to be active is a great way to keep, not only your physical health, your mental health in check in a stressful environment. It creates a time and place where you can take your mind off of what’s going on around you, and channel your energy into a powerful workout. Whether you can make it to the gym every day, or once a week, create a routine that fits into your schedule. More importantly, pick an exercise method that will release your stress, not add to it!

  2. 2. Spend more time outside

    The beauty of a college campus is how many opportunities students have to spend outside. So on those days where the weather is beautiful, instead of doing homework inside, try doing it outside! Get your study group together and look for a change in scenery. Even if you don’t feel like studying outside, take a walk, go hiking, or go for a run! Whatever you do, do your best to not stay cooped up inside during times of stress. The outdoors is a good way to get a mental release from the busy and difficult environment college creates. 

     

  3. 3. Be selfish

    It’s very important to know your limits and recognize when there is just too much on your plate. It’s okay to say no to everyone else to take time for yourself. The weekdays can be the most stressful, not to mention the many other obligations students juggle outside of academics. That said, saying yes to friends, coworkers, student organizations or more when you already feel overworked has the potential to burn you out. Your priority should be your self-care! So, practice saying no sometimes and take time for yourself!

  4. 4. Schedule a time for self-care every week

    Every week looks different, so it can be hard to have the same designated time and day for self-care. To fix this problem, sit down at the beginning of the week and see where you can fit self-care in your schedule. It’s okay if the day and time is different every week, just as long as you schedule it in! Whether it’s taking an hour and reading a book for enjoyment or journaling while listening to music, just make sure you take time to focus on yourself without distractions. 

  5. 5. Unplug

    Social media has the potential to consume our lives and start to become overwhelming. So, log out and unplug for a few hours to take time for yourself. Tune out the rest of the world and become in tune with all of your inner thoughts, emotions, and needs. It may also give you the chance to take inventory over your life and reassess the areas that are causing the most stress.

Self-care is extremely important, so don’t neglect it because of the busy college lifestyle! Make it a priority. Even if you don’t like any of these methods, find something that works for you!  

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