Varsity life can feel overwhelming, especially if you’ve been neglecting your self-care. Here are 5 simple things you can do to practise taking care of your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing during this time.
Self-care begins with a good night’s rest. Starting varsity is no doubt exciting and can come as quite a shock to your routine, especially if you’re now staying in res. If your sleeping habits are a bit whack at the moment, check out this article about 4 good bedtime habits you may not know about yet.
Staying hydrated is important not only for your fitness goals and your skin, but also for helping you feel fresher, less sluggish and more alert at lectures. Plus, hydration is key after a night of partying! Avoid sugary and energy drinks though, as these can do more harm than good and lead to a short-lived buzz, followed by a (mental) crash. You can’t go wrong with some old fashioned H20! Get yourself a cute water bottle and make your water more exciting by adding in some fresh cucumber, mint or fruits.
We know, we know- this is the oldest piece of advice in the book. But really, we can’t overstate how important getting active is for your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Make use of campus resources such as your varsity’s fitness centre, sports clubs or sports fields and courts to get into a daily fitness routine. You can do this in-between lectures, and if things are feeling a bit lonely, why not ask a friend or classmate to join you? Turn that “urgh, I really need to get fit” convo into an opportunity to set a date for a jog- no backing out of it now!
Organisation isn’t a scary thing. No, really, it isn’t. Get yourself a diary and a calendar, and write down all the tasks you need to get done so you can get a clearer perspective on how your week is looking. Having an assignment (the due date of which you’ve forgotten) constantly at the back of your mind can make you stress out unnecessarily. And no, don’t lie to yourself and say you’ll remember it because 99% of the time, you won’t. Rather, write it down in your diary and save yourself the coffee-fuelled, all-nighter freak out.
If you’re finding it hard to switch off your racing thoughts (especially before bed), then a good place to begin is by switching off your electronics. Yes, that means your phone, laptop, TV and anything else that’s bright, noisy and distracting. Settle into bed with a cup of tea and a book. Giving yourself time to take a deep breath and to wind down every day will keep the stress at bay.
Self-care when you’re a student doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. These small, simple changes can make a world of difference to your mood, so give them a try!