Self-care is an essential part of functioning in life. It is especially important in college, though, where the stresses of school, jobs, and finances can be overwhelming. Self-care does not have to be exclusive to certain days of the week or once in a while events. It can, and oftentimes should be a frequently happening occurrence. The following list includes examples of self-care that can be beneficial to college students.
Meditation provides a time to reflect on thoughts, ease anxiety, and provide a source of peace during a busy day. Personally, I meditate every morning before I start to get ready so that I can be prepared for the stresses that life throws at me throughout the day. A lot of people seem to be wary of meditation and think that you have to be totally still and have a blank mind in order to be successful at it. While you can try this style of meditation, there isn’t anything wrong with having thoughts while meditating. I even use an app to help guide me, which focuses on the thoughts that I have each morning. This is a major form of self-care because it gives you time to just focus on the present and be mindful.
2.) Journal Regularly
Journaling provides a release from your thoughts and helps you express yourself without having to share with others. It is totally personal and allows you to be completely honest with yourself. Writing helps to release stress and other intense emotions, which is advantageous to college students. Dealing with and releasing your thoughts is truly caring for yourself because you are letting go of things that could be holding you back.
3.) Set Goals or Yourself that are Realistic
Perfection or the closest thing possible to it are ideals for which many college students strive. The reality of this thought is that the journey to be perfect is taxing, demanding, and unrealistic. In the end, it causes more issues than it solves. It is alright to fall short of your expectations sometimes and make mistakes. A better alternative is to set goals that are personalized to your abilities and that are achievable. Life is a lot easier to live when you set expectations and goals for yourself that aren’t so far-fetched and allow you to put your mental health first.
4.) Find or Create Fulfillment in Your Life
Life becomes more enjoyable when we have regular things that make us happy or provide a sense of purpose. There are several ways for college students to do this, and anyone can incorporate them into their schedules. One way is to be engaged in volunteer work. Volunteer work can provide fulfillment because you are actively working to create a better community and are seeing the results. Another way is to have strong relationships with others, whether that be family members or close friends. Having people that you can rely on and that you have a healthy relationship with can be a major source of fulfillment in your personal life.
5.) Have Nights Where You Treat Yourself
Taking the time to pamper yourself every once in a while is very important. There are literally hundreds of ways to achieve this. Some of my favorites include buying and using face masks, eating my favorite food, having a movie night with friends, and having a weekend getaway. Everyone has different interests and things that make them happy, so treating yourself is a very personalized form of self-care. Regardless, it is important to take the time to relax and focus on yourself.
While self-care might not be at the top of every college student’s to-do list, it should be at least close. It isn’t feasible to function at your peak level without regularly taking the time to step back and focus on yourself. I hope that all of these self-care tips inspire other Muleriders!