SELF-CARE TIPS FOR STUDENTS
WHO defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
As Scott state: “People who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves are at danger of deeper levels of unhappiness, low self-esteem and feelings of resentment.” (Scott, 2008) the risk of taking care of others and forgetting about ones’ own needs is the risk of burnout which makes it more difficult to care for others or themselves.
Being a student can be one hell of a task. It can be frustrating not being unable to study. Let alone finding time to participate in extra-curricular activities. Everyone has excuses for not being able to complete a task, attend events, make money, hit the gym, and take care of oneself. Let us take studying as an example; when you are starting out on a subject it seems very difficult to master its content. You don’t know where to begin and end. It becomes a battle in your mind but after sometimes it becomes easy. As with trying anything new, the first step is usually disorienting and hard because you are not used to it but once it becomes a routine it is simple and easy to do.
When it comes to self-care the same is true. You do not know where to begin. Likewise you doubt if you have the skin and time to manage it. Deep down you know for a fact that the benefits that come with it are beneficial health wise, physical wise, psychological wise, and spiritual wise. It is proven by experts that most people if not all fear the unknown caused by underlying anxiety and neuroticism (Carleton, 2016).
According to research findings, there are numerous self-care tips and its benefits to start out with as an aspiring student. Let’s jump right in:
POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS – Positive self-talk is invaluable. Wake up every morning and look yourself in mirror. Tell yourself you deserve the best. See yourself having great experiences in every aspect of your life. How you start your day is important. For instance, say “I am intelligent, poise, magnetic, confident and harmonious in endless ways.” This way, you program your mind and body to expect good things throughout the day. Cohen, G. L & Sherman, D. K. (2014). The psychology of change: self-affirmation and social psychological intervention.
PRACTICE GRATITUDE – Get yourself a journal and write down ten things you are grateful for. Is it the roof over your head? Is it food on the table? Is it good health? Anything that comes in your mind. Even having five fingers is something to be thankful for. Do not focus on what you do not have. Instead focus on what is going good for you. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, tested the impact of various positive psychology interventions on 411 people, each compared with a control assignment of writing about early memories. When their weeks assignment was to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness, participants immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores. This impact was greater than that from any other intervention, with benefits lasting for a month.
GARDENING – If you are lucky to have a garden at home or at school, you can take time out to weed. That way you connect with nature and enhance your sense of belonging.
CLEANING – Decluttering your room teaches you the art of responsibility so that when you face a challenge you know how to handle it. It will boost your problem-solving skills and technique.
JOURNALING – Writing down your fears enables you to master them. When you master them, you boost your self-confidence and push limits. It can be social anxiety or fear of heights.
SUNGAZING – The best time to sun gaze is 8 am when the sun is rising. At this time the sun is smooth and you can feel it warming your soul. This helps you relax and enjoy the moment.
SAYING NO – Saying no to toxic friends and parents will boost your mood. This way you prevent unnecessary drama and arguments.
LISTEN TO MUSIC – Putting headphones on and listening to your favorite playlist boosts your mood helping to relax and reduce stress. After a long day at school, music can be the best therapy.
SET BOUNDARIES – Cutting off toxic people and stalkers can be a plus to your life. It also teaches you how to stand for yourself by being assertive in every situation. Eventually, you will trust yourself in making conscious and deliberate decisions concerning important issues when they arise
PLANT SOMETHING – Planting a tree or flower improves your connection to nature and can be a relaxing experience as well. Participate in tree planting day or sessions organized by the institution or community. You will leave the session feeling fulfilled and whole.
PLAY WITH YOUR PET – Jogging and playing with your dog or cat can put a genuine smile on your face. It also teaches you how to treat animals in general.
SET GOALS – Setting small goals and crushing them will go a long way to improve your life in a positive way. Let’s say, improving in your business studies at the end of the year. When you finally get to be the best in your class, the feeling is so fulfilling.
LAUGH – Cracking jokes with your brother, sister or friend is good for your mental health and sense of humor game.
EXERCISE – Hitting the gym to tone down that weight will clear out mental fog and delete laziness. This stimulates the mind and ensure mental clarity leading to effective communication and creativity at large.
SLEEP – Proper sleeping pattern will make you more productive and effective in your studies
READING – Reading fictional and non-fictional books improves your creativity and develops imagination.
MEDITATION – Conscious breathing in itself is a relaxing therapy. It helps calm your nerves and releases tension in your body. Inhale slowly and deeply a breath of fresh air, feel it as your abdomen expands. Hold it then exhale at the same pace as you inhaled.
GETTING OUTSIDE – A picnic can add to your imagination portfolio on another level. The more you explore, the more your imaging faculty expands.
TAKING SHORT BREAKS – Taking a 10 minute break can help clear mental blocks when writing an essay or academic papers. It takes your attention off from the task thus enabling the mind to receive more insights from the ether
TRY NEW HOBBY – Try joining dancing and yoga classes. Taking on new activities create and strengthen your neurological pathways.
LISTENING TO PODCAST AND AUDIOBOOKS – It can range from self-help books or spirituality topics. It expands your knowledge and viewpoint on different subjects thus developing your personality to be explosive and magnetic.
SELF-LOVE – Accepting yourself the way you are is critical to self-development. This helps you to be kind to yourself and others. Kindness nourishes the soul.
To conclude, choose a self-care practice that fit your needs. You do not have to try every one of them at once. A single practice can bring incredible results.
Take this self-care quotes from famous legends as a motivation on your journey;
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you”- Anne Lamott
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”- M.Scott Peck
“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”- Eleanor Roosevelt
“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”- Buddha
“Every one of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.”- Princess Diana