When a student laments about being tired or overwhelmed, people often brush it off as normal student life. Even though students are usually young and healthy people, this doesn’t mean they can always bear the world’s weight on their shoulders.
Going through college or university is no easy feat, and if you add family and social problems to that, you could say these are some of the most demanding years of their life. It is crucial to develop a good self-care routine as early as possible for it to become a habit to take care of yourself even when you become a young professional.
People who don’t learn self-care early in their lives tend to get overworked and burnt out as adults. You’ve probably already heard someone say, ‘put your oxygen mask on first,’ and this applies to students, too.
A daily self-care practice can do a world of good for your mental and physical health, and the good news is it is often small tweaks and details that will significantly elevate your overall quality of life. You might already know all this, and in that case, let this article be a gentle reminder to take care of yourself.
Create a sleep hygiene routine
Maintaining a regular and healthy sleep routine is much more important than most students would expect. Even though you think you can pull an all-nighter or two and feel completely fine (after three cups of coffee), poor sleep will negatively affect your concentration, memory retention, eating habits, and mood.
For students, the problem is more often than not going to sleep too late and then rolling around their bed trying to fall asleep despite the myriad of thoughts and worries racing through their head. To mitigate that, create a good self-care routine in the evening that will help you relax. Avoid screens an hour or two before bed, drink a cup of tea, read a few chapters of a book, take a warm shower and try to go to bed at the same time every night.
Identify a support system
A support system is crucial, and many young people nowadays struggle to maintain a social circle, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Finding your go-to person who will listen to you when you need to vent or simply need another opinion is crucial for your mental health.
Sometimes we forget the value of a simple conversation or some kind words of support. Make it a point to set apart time that will be dedicated to connecting with your support system.
All people need support in their lives sometimes, and whether it is a wild dream of becoming a writer or something simple like just getting through the day, a good friend will be there for you no matter what. Humans are social creatures, and as long as you keep in mind that there are people who love and support you, and you nurture those relationships, everything else in life seems to fall into place.
Take a deep breath
Breathing techniques for relaxation have been used for centuries, and for a good reason. Many people roll their eyes when someone tells them to take a deep breath or count to ten, but it is not pseudoscience.
Mindful breathing is one of the oldest ways to self-care and one of the simplest you can do. The trick is to try to breathe in the same way you breathe when you are relaxed to trick your body into calming down when it is stressed. One of the most common techniques is belly breathing.
Lie on your back with one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Then breathe in such a way that only your belly moves up and down. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth 3 to 10 times and see how you feel after.
If you are one of those who struggle to drink enough water, implementing hydration in your daily self-care routine should be the first thing you do. Even mild dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, and weakness.
Other than drinking water or beverages with electrolytes, there are several ways you can make sure you get enough water throughout the day. Eat plenty of vegetables, smoothies, and food that has high water content. From oatmeal to smoothies, there are many options for increasing your hydration without having to force yourself to drink water.
Move your body
It is no secret that regular exercise is beneficial for stressed students and should be a part of everyone’s daily self-care routine. Whether you need to blow off some steam with sprints or boxing or want to calm your thoughts with some yoga, self-care comes in many different forms of exercise.
You might think your goal with exercise is chasing endorphins, but merely moving your awareness to yourself, your body, and your breathing will free up your mind so that you can wind down faster.
Make a playlist with your favorite songs
Music is especially important in many young people’s lives. From crying to a love song that lets you feel the emotions you have bottled up, to playing an upbeat song to give an extra spring to your step on your way to a busy day in school, music can be a powerful self-care tool that is free and easy to implement in your everyday life.
Set boundaries and learn to say “no”
How can saying ‘no’ be part of a self-care routine? It can, and it should, as the pace of life is picking up in modern times, and you are the only one aware of how much you can take on. It is hard to say no, and sometimes you might not want to.
You should be aware of your limits and learn to say no when you have reached them. If you are bad at saying no and tend to please other people to your detriment, try practicing it as a part of your daily self-care.
Stand in front of a mirror, make yourself a proposition you have to refuse, and just say no. If you practice such interactions at home, you will not be caught off guard when it happens in a school or family setting.
All of that said, find what works for you. Decide to become a master in self-care yourself, and your mental and physical health will thank you. Even though life can be overwhelming, never forget that you can do things to make it easier on yourself. Do not be stingy with self-care; your body and spirit are all you have at the end of the day, so treat yourself like you would treat your friend.
About the Author: James Baxter is a professional essay writer, ghostwriter, editor at write my essay and blogger, who loves sharing his experience and knowledge with readers. He is especially interested in marketing, blogging, and IT. James is always happy to visit different places and meet new people there.
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios only.
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