Today’s post is dedicated to self-care for college students tips! It’s the end of the quarter, we are in a pandemic, and it’s winter. As an undergrad, I know personally that students need help with self-care. With my Resident Advisor experience at UC Davis, we were told to especially check in on our residents around this time to see how they are doing. The winter season is usually when homesickness and SAD (seasonal effectiveness disorder) kicks in for most.
Although most students are not dorming, especially given the circumstances, SAD is still very real and there are added challenges with the pandemic. It is super important for all students to take time to themselves and de-stress.
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Go for a Walk
Walking is one of the best self-care recommendations for college students since we have a sedentary lifestyle because of classes, homework, etc. It helps us work on our mental and physical health at the same time.
It is a super simple and free way to improve your mood. This can help stabilize your stress levels and allow you to get some Vitamin-D if you walk when the sun is out. Walking is also a form of exercise which makes this a healthy habit to form whenever you need to relieve some tension.
Some studies even show that walking can help improve your sleep. So if you are having sleeping issues like most college students are, this can be a way to help.
What does pampering yourself look like? Do something you love whether it is makeup, skincare, baking, etc. If you love doing your makeup but haven’t since you are stuck inside because of restrictions, now is the time to do a full-face. Watch some YouTube videos and try out a new look.
Or if you are a skincare fanatic, checkout skincare Twitter for some product recommendations as you do a face mask. Follow @labeautyologist, @caveofbeauty, and @makeupforWOC for some great threads on ingredients and products. You can also check out my blog post on affordable skin care products for college students!
You can even have a little spa day. Take a warm bath with bubbles, do your nails, a face mask, and light some candles. Set the mood for relaxation and serenity. Play some music that will soothe you. Rewarding yourself is a big part of self care that will ensure you are able to stay productive during quarantine.
Light therapy is a common practice for those who have SAD, but it could also help others who don’t have that condition. It gets dark super early now and can lead to many feeling depressed or unmotivated. Having a lamp simulate daylight can lead to productivity and better moods.
Prices vary for these types of lamps, but I found this cheaper and UV-free lamp on Amazon that is compact!
Write in a Journal
Write down your thoughts and feelings. With journaling, there is no need to edit or check for spelling, just write. There is no wrong way to journal. If you want to write out paragraphs of writing, do it. If you want to write in bullet points, then do that. One way to journal is by practicing stream of consciousness writing.
This allows you to write down any thoughts that come to mind. Release it all into your journal no matter how big or small the thought is. Make sure to never stop writing during this time. You can either designate 10 minutes to do this or write until you feel you are finished.
Writing in a journal also lets you look back on how your thoughts and mindset have developed over time. It can be a great way to improve your mental health.
Facetime/Call Friends and Family
In this time of social distancing, it is great to call people in your support system. A quick Facetime or phone call can boost your mood since it is spending time with people you care about.
You can discuss what is making you stressed or talk about other things to distract yourself from the workload of college classes. A good conversation can elevate your mindset and mood.
Plan your Schedule
A very important part of self-care is making sure you set time for it. You can plan out your activities for the day every morning or the night before so you make sure that you add in some time for yourself. Write down everything you need to get done for the day, around what times you will do these things, and schedule some much-needed self-care time. It is super important that you include scheduling self-care time in your morning routine list.
I find it very helpful to write everything down in a planner on Sunday before the week starts. I write down any Zoom lectures or meetings that are set, as well as certain assignments I would like to get done on certain days. It is important to dedicate a little section of your planner to add in self-care activities.
Unplug from Technology
Since our screen-time has gone up due to online school and work from home, it is super important that students take time away from our screens. Unplug from your phone, laptop, iPad, and TV. I know I mentioned pampering yourself earlier which may include binge-watching a show for some of you. However, time spent away from tech is equally important.
You can exercise, read a book, cook, or do any activity that will let you get away from your phone.
Recap of Self-care for College Students:
- Go for a walk
- Pamper yourself
- Consider light therapy
- Write in a journal
- Call your friends/family