Self-care for college students is an important issue. College students have to deal with deadlines, stress, picky professors, and other daily situations. According to Healthline, about 1 in 3 college students reported having suffered from mental health disorders.
Why? A highly competitive environment, financial instability, social anxiety, and of course, academic overload. These figures show only one thing: it is more than necessary that you take for self-care, to attend to your emotional and psychological needs, with the aim to fulfill your academic, work and personal duties. It is also vital that you take care of yourself during global issues, keeping a focused mindset without being paranoid or alarmist.
Self-care may sound like an easy task, but it is not. Most people do not take self-care as something serious, and some people even run away from it due to social prejudices. While your academic or work activities are of vital importance in your life, this does not mean that you should focus your mind solely on your obligations.
In reality, self-care is something that all college students should practice. The current social context reaffirms that staying healthy and communicating with others are essential self-care tips you should take.
Here are the Simple Self-Care Tips For College Students that might give you a little help during stressful situations.
1) Please, get enough sleep
As a college student, you surely feel the need to spend the night studying for your finals or midterms, with the incredible help of caffeine or energy drinks. While this seems like something college students should do, in reality, this practice has much more negative than positive results. Your body needs at least six hours of sleep, with 7 or 8 hours being recommended. In the absence of these sleep hours, your body will respond negatively. Your anxiety can increase exponentially. Besides, your brain will not have the energy needed to perform the tasks you are demanding.
Sleeping enough hours may seem obvious advice, but it is surprising how many college students do not get enough sleep. The American College Health Association affirms that 61% of college students aren’t getting the sleep they need. Try to leave other tasks not so productive aside, and try to sleep a couple of extra hours. This is why worrying about self-care is important during college.
Here you can see a breakdown of the data related to college student sleep and how it might affect your performance.
2) Exercising will save your life
Exercising a few minutes a day can be a great tool to combat anxiety and depression. Also, it is good to relax your mind and clear your thoughts. Exercise is also an excellent way to start feeling better about yourself because you know you are doing something productive. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym to lift weights. Today there are many places where you can do sports of all kinds, appropriate for your body type, time, and goals. One great and short workout is HIIT. Take advantage of these opportunities and move your body daily.
3) Prioritize your needs
Peer pressure can be a hard thing. Do not feel obliged to accept any invitation or go somewhere you do not want to go just because your friends are invited. There are occasions when time alone is much better than wasting your night in a place where you don’t want to be. Also, finding yourself in this situation can trigger thoughts of anxiety that are not good for your mental health. Take advantage of this solo time to relax, advance assignments, or recover lost sleep!
4) If you feel the need, make an appointment with a counselor or therapist
According to LearnPsychology.org, it is surprising and, at the same time, alarming the number of college students who have some mental or psychological problems due to academic stress. And even more remarkable is the number of cases that are not reported, because many people are afraid to talk about their mental condition.
Remember that these tips aim to improve your quality of life, as well as your mental and emotional well-being. Having the help of a professional can be, in some cases, even indispensable. This can be an occasion where you can let off steam and receive the support of a person who will know how to guide you on the right path.
Mental health is not a joke, and it can even be a public health issue these days. Just look at this data of students reporting mental health issues or substance abuse.
5) Avoid junk food, eat healthier
Too much junk food and fried foods generate excessive fat in your body, which causes massive stomach pain and can even make you feel constipated. And believe it or not, too much junk food also contributes to your mental health, as it increases the risk of depression and anxiety, especially in college students.
At the same time, fatigue and weakness are also inherent in excessive consumption of junk food. Therefore, the best thing you can do to take care of yourself is to have a more balanced diet. You need to incorporate vegetables, legumes, and fruits in your diet, as well as the appropriate amounts of water. You will see how, in a short time, you will be revitalized, and you will have much more physical energy and emotional well-being.
6) Have a hobby
Not everything in life can be work or study. Try to find that passion you can pursue outside the classroom or your workspace. This hobby is something that allows you to de-stress yourself and does not make you think about your other daily obligations. In this way, this activity can be a physical or mental escape where you can find inner peace to relax. Besides, you can also make this hobby a habit. Having schedules set to certain activities makes our brain assimilate them faster, as well as having more consistency when performing these activities. If you have a hobby, you will be doing a lot for your self-care during college.
7) Take a break from social media
There are more and more scientific studies that affirm the adverse effects of social media on human psychology. Actually, social media affects many aspects of our brain. They can create unreal standards of beauty, just as it can also generate some social anxiety and the inability to create real connections.
Social networks are not exclusively harmful, but you do need to know how to establish a balance that allows you to connect with your friends digitally, but also take care of your mental health and well-being. In amidst the COVID-19 situation, always checking your phone for updates on Twitter or Instagram can be anxiety-triggering. Keep yourself informed, but also keep track of your mental health, which is the most important thing right now.
8) Don’t be so alarmist
While it is entirely logical that you take measures to protect yourself from COVID-19, don’t feel like it’s the end of the world. As a college student, you will have to catch up with on-line classes and discussions, and this is the perfect time to have long video-conference parties with your friends or do something different from the comfort of your home. If you take the necessary measure, you, your family, and loved ones will be alright..
9) Occupy your mind in something that relaxes you
Many content creators and platforms are sharing valuable content for people to enjoy during the COVID-19 quarantine. We bet you are always telling yourself, ‘I want to learn more about that or this,’ but you never have the time. If you have the possibility of staying home and have free time, read a new book or download a course about something that you like. Udemy is an excellent tool for this since it has a wide variety of content and practical information. Sometimes, the best self-care for your college journey is just to learn something new.
Asking for help is also a form of self-care
All these tips are not static. This COVID-19 situation is changing by the minute, and you still have academic duties to fulfill. Remember, these self-care tips can be active within your routine and personal life. Also, encourage yourself to try new things that you have never done before! Either try new foods, talk to new friends, or enjoy a streaming concert of your favorite artist. That sense of discovery is necessary for our lives to feel that there is some movement.
And most important of all: do not give up on self-care during your college classes because you are the most important person for yourself! Gradehacker can also help you achieve a better work-life balance, and we can give you all the time you need to rest and recharge your batteries!