STUDENT'S GUIDE TO SELF-CARE
Now that the semester is picking up, so is your course load. While it may be tempting to start pulling all-nighters immediately, no grade is more important than your physical and mental wellbeing. Here are some easy and fun ways to incorporate self-care into your schedule so you are
The first step is making sure you are staying organized. If you prioritize your school assignments and work schedule, then you can be sure you are getting what you need to get done completed. Making checklists or to-do lists to keep track of your assignments and tasks will help put things in perspective for you, and serve as a visual reminder of what you have left to accomplish. This way, you do not have to constantly try to keep track of multiple things in your head and can relax a little bit knowing you have a list to reference if you start to feel overwhelmed.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
This sounds like common sense, but it can be really easy to get into the habit of staying late at the lab, or up all night on your computer trying to get work done (or getting some last minute social media browsing in). Try and set a time to go to sleep every night so you are getting the proper amount of rest, if not more, that your body needs to be able to function for tomorrow. “Catching up on sleep” is not a real thing, and will throw off your body’s internal clock. Try taking powernaps when you feel yourself starting to crash; even a quick 20 minutes will help you to feel rejuvenated.
DRINK ENOUGH WATER
Once again, this tip sounds like common sense. However, according to CBS, most Americans (about 75%) do not get the 10 required daily glasses of water needed to stay hydrated. Wondering why you have a throbbing headache and cannot focus? Dehydration is a factor that could likely be playing into it. Bring a reusable water bottle with you and fill it up as needed. In addition to drinking water, try switching your energy drinks to something healthier, such as tea. If you are a coffee drinker, be cognizant of the amount of caffeine you are drinking. More espresso shots =/= more energy, just more jitteriness. Try to swap these drinks out with water when you can.
TREAT YO SELF
Though I personally love retail therapy, I would not recommend going to spend a ton of your money on things you probably (definitely) do not need. I know the feeling of regret when you impulse spend, only to see at your bank account balance the day after. What I mean by “treating yo self” is to occasionally reward yourself for working hard. Spend time with good friends, eat that ice cream you have in your freezer, take a really long, hot shower while dancing in the shower to your favorite playlist. Going out of your way to do nice things for yourself can really help you to either unwind after a long day, or help you de-stress and get ready for the one ahead of you.
This is the most important one. Be aware of your limits when it comes to working and know when to stop. Go outside, get a snack, or just go home for the day. Working nonstop is never a good idea, and thinking you need to get everything done at once is a harmful mindset.
These are just some of my tips for taking care of yourself while also trying to be a good student. I hope you are able to take something from this and apply it to your every day life!