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Self-Care in College: Tips for School Life Balance

Students practicing self care in college

As a student, trying to balance schoolwork, a social life, and self-care can be stressful and overwhelming. This time of your life requires a great deal of you, so it is important to be patient with yourself and the process of growing, developing, and changing.

It can be much more than just getting used to a new schedule and new classes. Having a completely new routine, making friends, being in a new environment, and possibly even being away from home can be difficult. It is important to remember that even though you are going through all these changes, you need to make time for yourself. We have created a checklist of a few things that you can do to make time for yourself and make “me time” a priority.

1. Create a Space for You

Whether you are online, commuting, or living on campus, you should find or make a spot that you can dedicate to yourself. Getting rid of old things, revamping your space with new paint or decorations, or creating a comfy spot to relax and get work done can go a long way to improving or maintaining your mental health. After a long day, your space should be a spot where you can go to decompress and relax. Keeping your space clean will relax your mind and allow you to take the break you deserve.

No matter the size of your space, you can always add a few touches that you love and enjoy to make it “yours.” Adding fun lighting and other small touches will make you love your spot and look forward to getting back there and taking some time for yourself.

2. Make Health and Mental Health Priorities

Making your mental health as much of a priority as your physical health is imperative to being successful as a student. It is easy to let yourself become absorbed in your work and forget that you need to find time for yourself. Mental health struggles can come in many forms, such as anxiety, depression, and stress. They can easily be brought on by stressors such as schoolwork or even just daily life. Being a college student can be taxing on your mental health, and it is important to keep that in mind.

By giving yourself breaks, staying active, doing things you enjoy, and making time for yourself, you reduce the chances of burnout and can have a more successful college career.

3. Connect with Friends and Family Outside of Class

Focusing on your classes and schoolwork is extremely important, but it is crucial that you find time to take a break and enjoy some time with your friends and family. Getting your mind off everything you have going on and having a casual or off-topic conversation can make you feel refreshed and ready to keep going.

Constantly being focused on your work and not taking breaks can lead to burnout, making you get tired of doing work faster, and can ultimately lead to you being unsuccessful. Take the time to see the people you care about and keep your relationships strong. It is important that you are surrounded by people who support you or have the same goals as you and are not a distraction. Having people to do work and study with will make it more enjoyable and can even help you learn.

4. Keep or Start a Hobby

Just because you are a student doesn’t mean that you should give up all the things you enjoy doing in your free time that make you happy. Giving yourself a break to enjoy your hobbies and taking a quick step away from your work will clear your mind and get you ready to jump back in to the books.

If you find that you don’t have anything that can get you away from your work for a little while, find something that you enjoy doing and run with it. Go for walks, scroll social media, learn a new skill, or even get outside and watch the sunrise or sunset. No matter what you are doing, you are giving yourself time to relax and recharge. Hobbies can provide you an outlet for managing stress and can increase happiness levels.

5. Drink Water, Eat Healthy, and Exercise

Maintaining your physical health has a direct correlation with keeping your mind healthy. You should remind yourself to eat well-balanced and nutritious foods, as they can boost your immune system and ultimately lower the effects of stress on your body. Make yourself a priority and keep yourself active. Go for walks, drink water, and find a balance that will keep your body healthy so you can keep yourself on the path to success.

6. Get Adequate Sleep

Ensuring that you get enough sleep is a significant part of maintaining your physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation can cause irritability, inability to focus, overreactions, and increased stress, and can make you more prone to illness. As difficult as it can be to prioritize sleep, the advantages of going to bed early and getting a good night’s sleep are significant. When you are well rested, you are less likely to experience daytime sleepiness and fatigue. You will find yourself being more productive, better able to pay attention to detail, and better able to concentrate while learning and studying.

7. Set Goals

Setting goals will help you outline your priorities and improve confidence and motivation. Writing down your goals will give you the ability to keep track of your progress toward your goals and accomplish them. By establishing and constantly monitoring a target, you will find yourself focusing and pushing to work harder. The feeling of accomplishment when you reach a goal will motivate you to set more and keep going.

8. Take Advantage of Your Resources

Notice when you need help and never hesitate to reach out. Taking care of your mental health can feel like a daunting task, but small steps at a time can help you take better care of yourself, whether just following a few tips or giving yourself the occasional “me” day. When it comes to self-care, your body and intuition can tell you exactly what you need. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can be key to managing them, so it is important to know what to look for.

Start Your Self-Care Checklist Today!

At Bryant & Stratton College, we understand the importance of having a school/life balance. Giving yourself the same amount of time focused on you as you put into your schoolwork is crucial to being successful. Find time for yourself and others and do things you enjoy.

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