By Belle Frank
I know in everyone’s mind when we think of “self-care” as facemasks, bubble baths, a cup of tea, and a movie night. Sure, these things can be a great way to relax, but it doesn’t fix the anxiety that comes along with college life. Helping to get rid of the stress and anxiety that comes with being a college student requires a different approach. So here are some real self-care tips and tricks for college students:
Reserve Sundays for planning
I am a firm believer in being proactive rather than reactive. So before you can feel overwhelmed with how much work you have to do, write it all down.
My planner is my lifeline. It has a monthly and weekly calendar. On the first of every month, I fill out what important dates I have (tests, project due dates, appointments, etc.). Then, every day I write down the homework I must do before the next class. I could wallpaper my entire dorm with all the sticky notes I use. I write down my to-do lists, my to-buy lists, and my projects in order of what is due first. I also print out my syllabi and tape them to my wall. When I complete an assignment, I highlight it.
Keeping yourself organized will help keep you on track. No assignments will sneak up on you. I know resisting procrastination is difficult, but you will feel so much better in the long run if you get things done.
Schedule down time
I know it sounds silly, but make sure you are taking at least an hour of your day to just relax. I started putting a lock on all of my apps from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm so I can just sit down and take some time away from a screen. I will take that time to catch up on some hobbies or some personal work. I either paint, read, or do some Bible study. This time gives me a little boost once it’s done. I feel refreshed and I am ready to get back to work. I don’t have any distractions, and I just take that time to really be quiet and think to myself.
Don’t mix business with pleasure
This is the best advice I got in college: Your dorm room is for sleeping and relaxing, NOT STUDYING! Do not study or do work in your room; especially on your bed. Your brain will get used to being in “work-mode” when you are in your room. So, when you try and relax or sleep, your brain won’t shut off. Instead, find a perfect place to do work. I find that my best work gets done at a local coffee shop. Whenever I go to that coffee shop, my brain goes into “work-mode” and I get all my work done, but if I start doing assignments in bed, I won’t be able to sleep at night, and we all know that sleep is already hard to come by as a college student.
Take a break from social media
Every few months, I delete all the social media apps off my phone. I don’t delete my accounts, but it stops my temptation from checking up on all my timelines. How often do you find yourself clicking out of Instagram, and then a second later you absent-mindedly click back into it? Social media puts such a pressure on young adults. We often times forget that people are only posting the good photos from their extravagant trips, or the best selfie they took that day. Everyone’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. is not a reality. It is an altered perspective of their real life that they want their followers to believe.
So take a break from your social media accounts. You won’t believe how much of your daily time it takes up, and you will start to feel more productive. Also, you won’t be comparing yourself to others. We have all scrolled through our feed and wished we had that girl’s hair, or that guys car, or that person’s skin. We put so much of our value into how others perceive us. So break that trend by taking some time away from it.
Overall, it is important to always remember to take time for yourself, and to do everything you can to give yourself the most stress and anxiety free college experience you can.