In a previous post, we covered the importance of taking care of yourself and your mental health. Today, we will go through ways to help you with that. Keep in mind there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but here are some suggestions that may work for you!
Physical Self Care
Developing a regular sleep schedule is hard, but will ultimately help maintain your energy throughout the week. Instead of sleeping in on weekends, try waking up like you would during the week and make use of the extra time in your day to get your school work done while your friends are asleep. Apple’s Bedtime feature allows you to track your daily sleep and set a standard alarm to help you reach your sleep goals.
Eating healthy and maintaining a balanced diet will set you up for success. It can be tempting to order takeout and delivery, but spending time each week to meal prep will make eating healthy more convenient. BudgetBytes is a great resource for cheap and easy recipes!
Striving for 30 minutes of daily physical activity is crucial as we are spending more time sitting at our computers with virtual classes and meetings. Exercising can be difficult, especially with COVID restrictions, cold weather, and a shortage of exercise equipment in stores. Whether you follow Chloe Ting’s home workout videos on YouTube, download apps like Nike Run Club, or simply go for walks, keeping your blood pumping will boost your immune system and increase your productivity.
Psychological Self Care
Write in a journal. You may be tired of essays, emails, and discussion posts, but writing about what you are thankful for, how your day went, and your future hopes and dreams will provide an outlet for meaningful reflection. You can look back on your entries and feel empowered and fulfilled as you see your progress. Save some trees by trying out digital journals like GoodNotes!
Power down. Shutting off your electronics before you sleep and filling your day with time away from your devices will give your eyes and body a rest. Screen fatigue is real - opt for audio calls when possible to let your eyes wander.
Take breaks. Meditate, read, listen to music, dance, sing, laugh. Having fun in between classes, club events, and meetings, allows you to unwind and relax. Smiling Mind, Headspace, and Calm are free apps with guided meditations as short as five minutes - perfect for a quick break.
Emotional Self Care
Develop and leverage your support system; nobody can do it alone. Having a core group of family, friends, or social connections you can reach out to is an important aspect of taking care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. You never know if someone is also feeling down and lonely. Reaching out could make their day and yours!
Follow your passions. Taking courses you are interested in, partaking in extracurriculars you enjoy, and spending time on your hobbies will contribute to your well-being. If you feel you are short on time, reflect on your activities, ask yourself why you are doing them, and prioritize based on your why. Sometimes you will need to pass on opportunities as we only have so many hours in a day. Creating spreadsheets to gather your thoughts and commitments is a great way to stay organized!
Try new things. Whether it be learning a language, playing a sport, or taking up a hobby, stepping outside of your comfort zone can lead to friendships, excitement, and memories. Duolingo is a free language learning app - give it a try today!
Ask yourself what barriers are present in your life. What is likely to get in the way of your self care plan and how can you mitigate these barriers? Understanding what is holding you back will allow you to solve the problem and continue to thrive. Remember, it’s okay not to be on top of everything, we are all human. Take this advice, personalize it to your liking, and enjoy life one step at a time!