“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” -Eleanor Brownn
Some may say it’s selfish to put yourself as a top priority, but as college students it’s necessary. Putting yourself first doesn’t mean you can’t look out for others; it’s about making sure you take care of yourself before devoting your mental energy toward other activities.
In the midst of life’s chaos, it’s important to take care of yourself outside of your personal responsibilities. Here are 10 practical self-care activities that will help you not only survive but thrive amidst life’s chaos.
- Plan it Out: Start your day by organizing your daily tasks. Write on paper or a sticky note exactly what you need to accomplish for the day. Stay clear of packing too much in one day; try to think about your week as a whole and designate different tasks for different days. Organizing your tasks each day will allow you to feel a better sense of accomplishment when the day is done.
- Outfit Check: According to a Forbes article, dressing nicer can increase your productivity while working. Choosing to wear less athletic or casual attire while attending class or doing homework can make it easier to #getshitdone and stay on your A game. It’s simple: when you dress better you feel better.
- Stay Energized Without the Coffee: Skip the sugary breakfast filled with unnecessary carbs and choose something that will keep you energized. When it comes to snacking, avoid chips or candy as it will likely cause you to crash mid-day. Instead, choose protein and fiber packed foods such as nuts or yogurt. As for caffeine, it’s okay to have an iced coffee every now and then, but too much of one thing is never good. If you find yourself needing that jolt of caffeine, try drinking something healthier like green tea. Find more examples of healthy and energizing foods here.
- Tune In: Choose a calming music playlist to listen to while working on assignments. This will help you to focus and stay in the zone. If you’re finding yourself in a rut and need a pick me up, try listening to upbeat music or an inspirational podcast.
- Workout: Set aside time to workout whenever your schedule allows it—ideally 2-3 times per week. Working out not only allows your body to release endorphins, which also give you energy, but it allows your mind to refocus. Exercising not only helps your body physically, but it also improves your self-confidence and allows your mind to release anxious thoughts and stress. See all the mental health benefits of working out here.
- Socialize: Take a break. There’s no reason to overwhelm yourself with daily tasks and to-do’s 24/7, so remember to relax and spend time with others. Grab a meal with a friend when you need a break from your responsibilities. This can help your mind refocus and you can come back to your tasks feeling more refreshed and focused.
- Treat yo self: There’s nothing wrong with a little self love; treating yourself with a special something every now and then can be an easy goal to work towards. Get that iced coffee or eat that piece of cake because you work hard and you deserve it.
- Do Something for You: Aside from eating sweet treats, you can also treat yo’ self by taking time for yo’ self. Spend a weekday night alone watching your favorite show or movie. Throw on a facemask. Relax in a bubble bath. Choose something relaxing that you enjoy and add it into your weekly schedule when time allows to recharge for the next day.
- Take it all off: In order to be productive, you also need to take care of yourself. Taking care of your skin is a great way to take care of your body and it has emotional benefits too. Taking off all your makeup at the end of the day and using a cleanser and moisturizer not only hydrates your skin, but you will feel refreshed too. Once again, when you look good, you feel good.
- Positive Vibes Only: You can incorporate all these activities into your routine, but it will do nothing if your heart isn’t in it. Remember that you cannot do everything all at once, it’s okay to take breaks and have some fun, and most importantly, it’s okay to take care of yourself before others. Find a mantra or some sort of motivation because positivity will change your life.