The college experience can be exciting and fun, especially when you’re making friends and enjoying on-campus activities. But the daily grind of classes, schoolwork, and studying may cause you to feel a bit tired, stressed, or overwhelmed at times. Take time to care for yourself throughout the semester with these college student self-care tips.
1. Enjoy Some Alone Time
College is filled with classes and social engagements that keep you around other students for most of the day. And if you live with roommates, private moments may be especially rare. Enjoy some time to yourself so you can recharge after a busy day or week. Find a quiet spot in the library, go for a walk across campus, or fly solo to see a movie at the theater. Use the time alone to relax and think without the frequent distractions of college life.
2. Prioritize Your Sleep Schedule
College students often stay up late studying or spending time with friends. While those late nights can provide some important test prep or turn into cherished memories, it’s not a good idea to do it all the time. Getting enough sleep is vital to your health, energy levels, and mood. Plus, a good night’s sleep helps you to learn and retain new information and boost your memory, all of which is very important when you’re in class or studying every day.
Make sure you’re getting seven to eight hours of sleep most nights of the week. Establish a bedtime routine where you take a warm shower, read a book, listen to a podcast, or meditate before dozing off. These relaxing activities can help you rest more soundly and stick to a healthy sleep schedule.
3. Make Time for Exercise
Working out is one of the best methods of self-care, but it can be hard for some college students to find the motivation to do it. Even if you have a busy schedule, however, it’s important to fit in some physical activity at least a few times a week. Regular exercise can improve your mood and boost your energy. It even helps you enjoy deeper sleep at night (as long as you don’t exercise too close to bedtime). Consider trying one or more of these workouts for college students:
Take a workout class at the on-campus gym.
Join an intramural sports team.
Go for a run across campus.
Follow YouTube exercise videos at home.
Get a friend to be your workout buddy.
4. Talk It Out
When you’re feeling stressed, it can help to talk about what’s going through your mind. Meet up with a friend and chat about how you’re feeling. Call up a parent or sibling for support. If you’re a private person, it may help just to write out your feelings in a journal.
Don’t hesitate to take advantage of your school’s mental health services as well. Most universities and colleges have health centers where you can schedule an appointment with a counselor or therapist. These professionals can help you talk through any challenges you’re facing and provide useful strategies for overcoming them.
Don’t let stress get to you this semester. Instead, use these tips to take time to care for yourself.