Self-care is important for everyone. As a student, self-care can easily fall by the wayside, in favor of keeping up with a busy schedule of class, homework, a part-time job, and social life. Starting college can be a real shock to the system. You’re surrounded by strangers and have to learn to fend for yourself during what might be your first time away from home. Looking after yourself is more than just keeping yourself fed and up to date with college work. It also means caring for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Here are some easy ways to take better care of yourself as a busy student.
Look After Your Physical Health
Take your health seriously. You’ve already read the self-care guides that tell you to get regular exercise, but you need to get the basics of healthcare right too. This means you need to register with a doctor in your college town, so you can seek medical help if you need it. If you’re never made your own doctor’s appointments before, it can seem scary, but if you’re ill, don’t put it off. Additionally, if you’re ill at college, you’ll miss classes, and it can be hard to get caught up again. If you went to your doctor when you needed it, you can be back on your feet and back at class much sooner.
Your eyes also need care. As a student, you’ll be spending a lot of time reading, looking at screens, and staring at whiteboards at the front of lecture halls. This can lead to eye strain. If you notice you’re struggling to see the board, or are starting to squint more, get your eyes tested. If you do need to wear glasses, make sure you actually wear them so you don’t damage your eyesight further. You can find stylish frames on sites like eyeglasses.com, so you can match your glasses to your wardrobe.
Learn To Ask For Help
If you’re struggling at college, it can be tempting to just bury your head and hope the problem will go away. This solution is not effective, and will only make whatever the problem is much worse.
What’s causing the issue? Is your workload too high? Is there something on your course that you just cannot understand no matter how long you study it for? Ask your tutor for help. Catch them after class or use their office hours to speak to them privately and explain the issue you’re having. The job of your tutor is to help you, so if you need some further explanation or an extension on a deadline, speak to them as soon as possible so they can offer support before it’s been left too late.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, perhaps due to stress or homesickness, see what services your college offers to help you. All colleges will have something in place, like a counselor or a peer support program. Make use of these services to ask for help if you need it.
It can also help to talk to other students about your worries. Chances are that if you’re struggling, one of your friends will be too. Sometimes just talking about wherever is worrying you can help a lot, so learn to be open about your feelings. You and a friend with similar worries can support each other and offer each other help.
Learn What Eases Your Stress
Stress is a common issue for students. There’s a lot on your plate and you’re under a lot of pressure. Stress relief is different for everyone, so it’s important to learn what helps you to unwind. Try to focus on stress relief that is healthy. For example, a glass of wine might help you relax, but turning to alcohol for stress relief isn’t good for you. Instead, it can make the problem worse, as you come to rely on it.
Instead, find your go-to stress relievers that won’t damage your health. This might be getting up early to go to a yoga class before your college classes start. It could be a solo walk, dancing in your bedroom to a favorite song, watching an episode of an old favorite TV series, chatting with a housemate in the kitchen, or anything else effective for you.
Fuel Your Body
If you’re going to be able to concentrate and learn effectively, then you need to have the right fuel in your body. The classic student diet isn’t known for being brain-food, so try to resist the temptation to order too much takeaway or eat a lot of easy microwave meals.
You don’t need to be a whiz in the kitchen to cook for yourself. There are lots of recipe books and blogs designed for students cooking on a budget in a shared kitchen with minimal equipment. Learn a few simple recipes so you can cook fresh, tasty meals with fresh ingredients that will properly fuel your body and brain. Make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. If you’re not sure you’re getting all your nutrients, adding a daily multivitamin to your routine can help to make sure you’re getting everything you need.
Get your flatmates involved too. Suggest one night a week where you all eat together and take in turns to prepare a fresh, healthy meal. Meals like lasagna, curries, stews, and soups are easy to prepare for a crowd and load with plenty of vegetables. Invest in a slow cooker for days when you’re at class until late. Load all the ingredients in before you head out, switch it on, and you’ll have dinner ready and waiting for you when you get home. You could buy one as house, and all use it.
It’s also important to drink plenty of water. When you’re properly hydrated, your brain functions more effectively, making you better able to concentrate and absorb information. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you can add fruit or veggies to your water to make it taste more interesting, without adding sugar from cordials or squash.
This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.