College is crazy. You have a lot of the responsibilities of being an adult, but you’re flailing somewhere between wanting to be one and just wanting the freedom of being one. It’s a time of trial and error. By the will of the academic system, an error comes with specific consequences that are best to avoid.
The constant shift in balancing newfound independence while trying to keep up with a new set of expectations can be especially chaotic. This is why busy college students are more than perfect candidates for self care. Practicing self care can help overly occupied students’ to stay focused, charged, and prevent any extra confusion or struggle. It can help to save them the spare time and dollars that come with extending their time in college as a byproduct of struggling to keep up.
Here are some go-to’s designed for the college student who can benefit from self care, aka, every last one.
1. Take Breaks Apart from Everyone and Everything
It’s so simple and so necessary. Take. A. Break. Even from the things you enjoy. A lot of times, if we take a break, it’s to attend to something else, be it responsibility or a distraction. Take a break from literally everything, and disconnect. Place your day to day hats somewhere else, and be. This will help you to ground yourself, no matter where you are or where you’re going.
2. Allocate Time for Self Check-Ins
A break allows you to flow where you are, but an intentional check-in brings consciousness to where you are. How to care for yourself and your current demands can be uncovered by what exists in the data gathered from a check-in. Use it to self-assess feelings or ideas that may linger beneath the surface, and plan forward.
3. Decide Who You Think You Are
College can be a tough time for identity. The GR8 news is, you don’t have to know who you are just yet. What you can do, however, is decide who you think you want to be, and more importantly, who you currently are. Having a firm stance on yourself will help to orient your entire world. Who you are is ultimately a choice, don’t you want to be a conscious one? Deciding where you stand is caring for yourself.
4. Don’t Hold Things In
Talk, share, mull it over, cry, scream, rant, but whatever you do: do not hold in how you’re feeling or where you’re at. Mental health and stability are necessary to excel as a student. Don’t hinder yourself by telling yourself to bury it and move on.
Eventually, what you hold in takes a toll far more expensive than if you worked it out at the first signs of trouble. Talk to a close family member or friend for support. To sift through the contents of your mental and emotional state, however, is best done with a professional. Most universities offer mental health and counseling services for students, take advantage of the resources made available to you.
5. Don’t Skip Meals
Crazy schedules trying to balance deadlines, grades, being social, and everything else in between can make finding the time to eat a literal joke for students. By the time most students get around to eating, they’re either tired and trying to decompress, or taking a break to power on.
Skipping meals is a pretty staple feat of being in college because, for most, eating is not a priority unless it’s an activity. Plus, the food is expensive! It can be tempting to say you’ll eat later, but you may be enabling yourself to make worse dietary choices as a result, as well as create a challenging time for your digestion and gut.
6. Balance it Out
Hand in hand with remembering not to skip meals is making sure to have a balanced diet. Get an adequate serving of protein, veggies, healthy carbs, and fats. It’s hard to avoid savory treats and alcohol in college, but this doesn’t mean nutrition should be neglected altogether.
Combat those late-night cheese fries by maintaining a nutritious standard for the other portion of the time. This will also keep you feeling your best, as well as promote clear and healthy cognitive function. Need advice on how to keep it gut-worthy outside of the home. We got you.
7. Keep it Moving
Get that body moving! With countless hours sitting in classes, studying, and stress—the college body craves motion. Get the blood flow pumping and enable a healthy metabolism by exercising regularly. Meaning, get moving several times a week. Make it a point. A body in motion stays in motion. Don’t feel like this can’t be you if you’re not a gym person, we promise, some alternatives work if you give them a chance.
Self care as a student isn’t always easy. When you’re working on setting up your life, everything you do is technically for yourself, but self care your safe space to make sure that self is your best self.