With the hustle and bustle of school, it can be easy to forget about yourself. There is no need to apologize for making ourselves a priority as we cannot work for others’ success while neglecting our own needs. We need to make our well being a priority. Below are some ideas on how to make the most of your self-care!
Self care routines come in all shapes and sizes, and it can depend on the day and your mood. It may be as simple as slapping on a face mask and burning a winter scented candle. One of the first steps to developing your self-care plan is to create a list of your “go-to” activities. These activities act as healthy mechanisms to release your stress. They can be anything from a sport to an activity with your pet. Here are a few:
- Go to the gym, take a yoga class or even just go for a walk
- Extra-long shower or a bubble bath
- Tidy up your room (seems backwards but can you help relax!)
- Splurge on something (a fancy drink or a new pair of jean… whatever you need)
- Get a manicure or go to the salon
Sometimes though, self-care can be as simple as making time to have a home-cooked meal instead of fast food or take out options. Cooking is a great, peaceful task and you will feel much better for it! Allow yourself an hour to cook and enjoy the meal then get back to your studying or work at hand. Looking for inspiration? Keep a Pinterest board of meals to keep it fun and new. Eating well and drinking lots of water is something we are always told but when things get stressful, we can forget!
Similarly, make time for sleep! Don’t grind yourself down. Leave a good 7-8 hours to get your beauty rest and be re-energized for the next day. Getting a night of quality sleep has been proven to impact grades through improved learning, memory and mental performance. It also leads to being able to hold attention longer and absorb material more efficiently. Just one or two nights of poor sleep can lead to irritability, fatigue, and decreased motivation, optimism and sociability. All of these traits are what self-care seeks to combat. However, it goes even further than that! Inadequate sleep on a regular basis is associated with long term health consequences including obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Dress for Success
Even if you’re feeling under the weather, do not use it as an excuse for dressing in your worst clothing. When you don’t look put together, you often feel not-so put together. Now, this does not mean that a suit is needed every day, but maybe limit the sweatpants when possible. On that note, take time to shop for yourself and find articles of clothing that make you happy. Want to watch your ecological footprint? Try shopping at thrift stores and give an old piece a new home. Lastly, take the time to plan your outfits out the night before and you won’t feel so rushed the next morning.
Putting some time into yourself is the definition of self-care and can be as simple as these steps above. Take some time for you and you will feel all the better for it. It can increase your productivity, work ethic as well as your overall well-being.