Simple Self-Care Tips For College Students

Sergio Guevara

Sergio Guevara

Head of Client Success at Gradehacker

Last Updated: July 25th, 2022

Self-care for college students is an important issue.

Academic students have to deal with deadlines, stress, picky professors, and other daily situations that add up to their busy college schedule. All of that comes with a great cost to pay.

And while the pandemic allowed us to focus more on ourselves and give more importance to our mental health care, the truth is that there wasn’t much of a change. 

According to a national survey of college students conducted in 2020, nearly 40% of students experienced depression, one in three reported having anxiety, and one in seven admitted they’d thought about suicide.

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 start taking care of yourself to fulfill your academic, work, and personal duties.

Self-care may sound like an easy task, but it is not.

Most people don’t incorporate self-care strategies into their daily routine because they don’t think it’s serious or because of 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.

Self Care Tips for College Students

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 seven or eight hours being recommended.

Having a sleep schedule below this recommended average will make your body respond negatively. Your anxiety can increase exponentially, and your brain won’t 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 don’t get enough sleep. Harvard University affirms that 70 to 96% of college students sleep less than eight hours daily.

So, try leaving other less productive tasks aside and see if you can sleep a couple of extra hours. This is why worrying about self-care is important during college!

2) Exercising will save your life

Exercising for a few minutes a day is one of the best self-care activities you can do. Not only it’s a great way to combat anxiety and depression, but it’s also good to relax your mind, clear your thoughts, improve your blood pressure, and reduce your stress level.

Exercise is also an excellent way to start feeling better about yourself because you know you are doing something productive.

And you don’t necessarily have to go to the gym to lift weights.

Find the exercise you like the most! 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.

But it’s also enough if you take the extra time to go out for a walk, ride your bike, or run around your neighborhood.

Take advantage of these opportunities and move your body daily. Your mental and physical health will thank you.

Self Care Tips for College Students

3) Prioritize your needs

Peer pressure can be a hard thing. Don’t feel obliged to accept any invitation or go somewhere you do not want to go just because your friends are invited.

Maintaining your social life afloat is important, but there are occasions when spending time alone will be 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. 

Use 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 practical self-care ideas aim to improve your quality of life, as well as your mental and emotional well-being.

And many times, having the help of a professional can be the best choice to make. With professional help,  you can let off steam from your everyday life and receive the support of a mental health expert who will know how to guide you on the right path.

Mental health is not a joke; it can even be a public health issue nowadays. If you want to learn more about why it’s so important, be sure to check out our video:

5) Avoid junk food, eat healthier

Yes, junk food can be tasteful, but too much can generate excessive fat in your body, which causes massive stomach pain and makes you feel constipated.

And it’s not only a physical health issue. Too much junk food also contributes to your mental health, as it increases the risk of depression and anxiety, especially in university students.

At the same time, fatigue and weakness are also inherent in the excessive consumption of junk food.

Therefore, the best thing you can do to take care of yourself is to incorporate more healthy food and snacks into your diet. Try including vegetables, legumes, and fruits in your diet, as well as the appropriate amounts of water.

You will see how you will be revitalized in a short time, 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 college campus 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 for certain activities makes our brain assimilate them faster and more consistent when performing these activities.

If you have a hobby, you will be doing a lot for your self-care in college.

7) Take a break from social media

More and more scientific studies affirm the adverse effects of social media on human psychology. Actually, social media affects many aspects of our brain. They can create unreal beauty standards, just as they can also generate social anxiety and the inability to create real connections.

Social networks are not exclusively harmful, but you need to know how to establish a balance that allows you to connect with your friends digitally and take care of your mental health and well-being.

And yes, we do recognize that there are many ways social media and college life can mingle, but 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.

Simple Self-Care Tips For College Students

8) Occupy Your Mind in Something That Relaxes You

Many content creators and platforms share valuable content for people to enjoy, and many more started doing it after the COVID-19 quarantine.

We bet that from time to time, you tell yourself, ‘I want to learn more about that or this,’ but you never have the time. If you have free time, read a new book or download a course about something that you like.

Sometimes, the best self-care for your college journey is just to learn something new.

Udemy, for example, is an excellent tool for this since it has a wide variety of content and practical information. But if you want to find more alternatives to college, you can check out the top online learning platforms or watch our video about it:

Asking for help is also a form of self-care

All these self-care ideas are not static.

Incorporate them into your personal life, and start shaping your own self-care routine.

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 importantly, 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!

If you are looking for more tips on how to improve your well-being, check out these articles:

Sergio Guevara

Sergio Guevara

Sergio Guevara has been an avid essay writer and researcher for Gradehacker since 2018. He has helped countless non-traditional students with a plethora of subjects like literature, nursing, and history. Now as the head of the Client Success Team he’s constantly involved with SEO-driven content that can make the life of both non-traditional and traditional college students much easier. You can find him on LinkedIn

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