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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Image courtesy of Cast Center

Self care is the act of taking care of yourself so that you can be in the best mental and physical state possible. It is often not prioritized by college students. When you only focus on your responsibilities, it can have detrimental effects on your mental and physical health. Your body will not function at its best when your needs are neglected. When you always have something important on your plate and no time to rest, you can burn yourself out. Going through life in a tired haze because you constantly over extend yourself is not the best way to live. 

Practicing self-care means that you will make sure you take care of your own health on top of everything else you have to deal with. Caring for yourself is a necessary part of life that you can’t skip if you want to have good results. There are many great benefits to performing acts of self care. When your body is well-rested and well taken care of, it is strong, resilient, and even more resistant to illness. When your mind and body are in a good place, they are less likely to break down from the weight of life’s stressors. 

Easy Self Care Strategies for Busy College Students

Self-care includes any activity that makes you feel good. It can be something calming, sentimental, or physical. It all depends on you and what you prefer to do in your free time. You might think that you’ll get more done if you don’t have free time, but that should absolutely not be an option! You should never be too busy to treat yourself well. So when it comes time to take care of yourself, which will ideally be quite often, here are a few things you can add to your self-care routine as a college student!

1. Get A Full Night's Rest On A Regular Basis

Sleeping right is the best thing you can do for yourself.

It’s common for college students to lose out on sleep to get schoolwork done, but that is overall not the best idea. If you want to practice self-care, you will need to prioritize your sleep time. Sleeping is one of the most important things that you do for your body in a day, and missing out on it is not as beneficial as you might think it is, especially not in the long run. The less sleep you get overall, the worse you will feel throughout the day. 

If losing sleep is a regular thing for you, that will lead to feeling bad on a regular basis. That won’t be good for your class performance or your social life. Get as much sleep as you can each night and keep yourself far away from daily exhaustion. You’ll be in a better mood and also be more productive. 

2. Get Regular Exercise 

Exercise keeps the body and mind in top shape. 

A guy lifting weights in a gym.
He’s keeping his body strong and his mind clear. Image courtesy of Mind Pump Media

Exercising regularly keeps your body in top shape. Keeping your body healthy will make you feel better physically and mentally. Exercise not only keeps your body running well, but it can also make you feel happier. It releases endorphins that bring on positive feelings. Exercise can be strenuous, but it overall is really beneficial for anyone who wants to prioritize caring for themselves. 

When it comes to exercise, there are many options to choose from. There are many ways to workout, and they range from very mild workouts to more strenuous ones. You can go to the gym to workout. Your campus likely has its own gym, which will be convenient and free. If the gym doesn’t sound appealing to you, you can find other ways to work out. You can go bike riding, do yoga in your dorm room, or even take simple walks. Just walking for a bit on a regular basis will keep you in decent shape!

3. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is beyond important. 

Staying hydrated is really important, but is something that many people often neglect. There are more benefits to being hydrated than you realize. Hydration keeps organs functioning properly and prevents infections. It also improves your sleep quality and overall mood. 

Hydration is easy to achieve when you make sure to take in fluids throughout the day. Don’t keep your beverage intake confined to after meals, you should almost always be drinking something. The best thing to drink throughout the day is water. Water should be the drink you have the most. It is the best option for hydration because it isn’t loaded with sugar and other additives that are harmful when enjoyed in large quantities. Sugary beverages are best limited. 

4. Take Study Breaks

Study breaks can help keep you on track. 

You might be stressed out about passing your classes and tempted to study a lot to make it happen, but even studying should be done in moderation. It is essential that you give yourself breaks when you’re studying. It will actually help you focus better on your studies overall when you take breaks. Otherwise, your brain will be fried and overworked. In those instances, you might think you’re properly studying, but your brain has a much tougher time retaining information in that state. 

When you take a study break, you can really do anything. The important thing is that you give your brain some time away from reading and memorizing information. Taking breaks from studying will refresh your brain and with that your ability to focus. When you get back to studying after that, you will feel a lot better than if you had kept going without a break. Take fewer long breaks or take shorter breaks more frequently. Whatever you do, as long as you are not neglecting yourself to force feed your brain information constantly, you will be a lot better off. 

5. Eat Nutritious Meals

Proper nutrition should always be prioritized. 

A group of people having lunch together.
Meal time with friends is always a good time. Image courtesy of Your Teen Mag

When you’re worried about classes, test scores, and extracurriculars, food might not be the biggest thing on your mind, but keeping yourself well fed is important when it comes to self care. You should never go hungry and food should never be treated as an afterthought. You might think that skipping meals isn’t harmful to your performance in class, and might even think of it as beneficial at times. That isn’t at all the case though. Missing meals isn’t necessarily helpful for any student. There is a chance you can become irritable, unfocused, and overall be in a bad mood if you miss meals on a regular basis. 

You should make sure to eat regularly even throughout days packed with things to do. If you’re worried that you don’t have enough time to eat all the necessary meals in a day, make plans to eat the way your classes are scheduled. Plan to eat before and after certain classes as if they are scheduled meals. If you’re someone who simply forgets to eat while you’re getting things done, maybe set a food alarm to remind you to get to the dining hall. Eating should always be a priority no matter how much you have going on in your day to day life. 

When you regularly eat balanced meals, your body and mind will function at top capacity, which can only help you be more productive. If you’re stuck thinking about how hungry you feel all the time, you will lose focus often and won’t perform your daily tasks as well. That isn’t at all the way that you should go about school life. 

6. Take Naps

Naps can improve your day.

Taking naps are often underrated by people who want to spend their days being productive, making plans, or just enjoying the day. On an average day, that can be the best course of action, but on some days you will inevitably need more rest than others. Don’t stay up just because it’s day time. If you’re feeling at all tired or burnt out and you don’t have any required classes or meetings for the next few hours, use that time to take a nap. Lying in bed bundled in a blanket is one of the most relaxing positions to be in. A nap could be the boost you need to get through the rest of your day refreshed and comfortable. 

7. Keep a Skincare Routine

Keep your skin looking and feeling its best. 

A regular skincare routine is a good thing to start your day with. If your current routine is just to quickly wash up and run, you might want to slow things down to add some self-care to that. Get yourself a few healthy and moisturizing products and make sure to choose fragrances you’ll enjoy. You will end up loving the smell that fills the shower when you use your new shampoo and body wash. Depending on the scent, it can make you feel really relaxed or really energized. The feel of your skin when you use decent products and take time to care for yourself will be phenomenal. When your skin looks and feels great, you will too!

8. Take Long Showers/Baths

Taking your time in the bathroom is a relaxing start to the day. 

Blue and yellow flip flops on the floor next to sudsy soap.
A shower can start and end your day well. Image courtesy of ThoughtCo.

Since you have things to do, you probably take lots of quick showers. And while that can save you time and get you to where you need to be early, taking your time can make for a more relaxing experience. If you get up just a bit earlier and take a longer shower or a bath, you will have a really relaxing start to your day. If you do it when you get home, you get to unwind from all the stress you dealt with throughout the day. Long baths are really relaxing for your muscles and can be a fun process. You can always enhance your baths and showers with certain things you can get in stores, and also make sure those things are easy to reach. You can take bubble baths, use bath salts, or bath bombs. Each of those options will give off great aromas that can lift your spirits. 

9. Spend Time With New and Old Friends

Friends can make a bad day much better. 

When you’re feeling stressed, it can be very calming to talk to someone about it, especially when that person is a good friend. Self care doesn’t only have to happen when you’re on your own. Spending time with people who make your day better is a form of self care. You can participate in self care related activities together, though simply spending time together will count as self-care, no matter what you end up doing. 

If you can’t meet up with a friend in person, talk to them on the phone or video chat with them. It doesn’t matter how you spend time together, it will still be valuable for everyone. Meet up with your friends in public, video chat, share phone calls, or even just text them. Even if you just exchange memes and TikTok videos back and forth, you will still be connected with your friends, which is something that will always keep your spirits high. 

10. Take Up a Fun Hobby

Hobbies can enrich your life. 

If you’ve ever thought about getting into painting, photography, dance, or anything else outside of your responsibilities, you can certainly do it even though you’re in school. It isn’t a bad time to take up a new hobby. Hobbies can be a fun way to take your mind off of your responsibilities. It is always good to take time out of your day to do something that inspires fun and creativity. You will benefit so much from doing something that you really enjoy on a regular basis. 

Bonus: Keep an Eye Out for Your Friends, Too

It Never Hurts to Check In on The People You Care About

They say you can't draw from an empty well, and that's so true. The first step in being there for your friends is being there for yourself first. We've covered some self care strategies that any college student can use to help keep their mental and physical health on track this school year, but what if you notice a friend is going through a tough time?

Everyone needs a little self care help every now and then, and letting a friend know you care and you're there for them can be as simple as sending them a text message to let them know their in your thoughts or picking out a self care-inspired care package to send their way. Sometimes something as little as a couple beauty essentials or a bag of their favorite snacks can be all the pick-me-up they need to get through a long day.

There you have it -- Self Care for College Students 101.

Most college students are in desperate need of self-care. If you spend your nights awake studying and your days going to class hungry and rushing from place to place, you could stand to slow down and do things that are actually beneficial to you. Start practicing self-care now. You won’t regret it!