Student life is busy. There’s no denying that. Between classes, homework, midterms, having a job, extracurriculars, and a social life, it can become a real challenge to make time to take care of yourself.
But one thing I hope we all had the pleasure of learning during the pandemic is that self-care isn’t selfish. We were encouraged to believe that taking care of ourselves - staying safe and healthy, was the best way to care for our community.
Now that life is “back to normal”, it’s important for us to continue to make self-care a priority.
I know what you’re thinking. Self-care sounds great, but how can I fit it into my busy schedule?
Here are some things you can consider:
Self-care is not one size fits all
Self-care can look different for everyone. It’s not just about mani-pedis or treat-yourself days (unless you want it to be). For some, it might be as simple as taking time to recharge your ‘social battery’ by taking a nap, meditating, or reading during your alone time. For others, it might be spending time with people you love or running errands and getting things done that you may not have had the chance to yet. At the end of the day, self-care is all about doing what feels good and makes the most sense to you at the time.
Little things can equal big impact
When we have a lot on the go, it’s really easy to throw self-care out the window. This is why breaks are actually really important - they help to stay on track and avoid mental exhaustion. When we neglect ourselves, we can feel the impact it has on us, and the same goes for when we make an effort to take care of ourselves. Something as little as taking a 20-minute walk around the block or making yourself a tea can do wonders for your well-being (try it, I swear!)
You gotta give yourself permission!
Yes, I know that most of us have a hard time thinking about setting time aside for “self-care”. If you’re someone who has always said you don’t have time for self-care, or that self-care seems selfish and self-indulgent, I hear you. We are so used to taking care of everyone else around us that it becomes tough to switch to focusing only on ourselves. When we give ourselves the green light to understand that we are worth the time and investment, we will realize that there are significant benefits to self-care.
Well, now you know! Self-care isn’t selfish and it’s also not superficial. It’s about protecting your mental health and fostering sustainability in your routine.
Shameless plug to the blog I wrote on the importance of routines.
I challenge you to pick one thing this week that will have an impact on how you feel. Put it in your calendar as if it were an important appointment. Pay attention to how you feel (your mood, energy, outlook, etc.) and if it’s as great as I think it will be, do it again!