Self-care means something different to everyone.
Sometimes, though, self-care gets put on the back burner too often – or altogether! – because we don’t make taking care of ourselves a priority. In society, we tend to make self-care look like it has to be time-consuming and elaborate, which seems to be why it isn’t as prominent in our lives as it should be (because who has the time for daily spa treatments?).
In fact, self-care can be practised every day and will improve every aspect of your life. Here are my tips for self-care when you’re busy (like, during final exam season busy).
Turn off your notifications
Whenever I am going through a busy time and need to focus on school work, I turn my notifications off on my phone for all the apps I don’t actually need, such as all social media apps, messaging apps and even news apps.
Without being bombarded by the constant stimuli, I find it a lot easier to focus on school and it reduces my stress about getting things done when I don’t feel the urge to waste time scrolling through Instagram.
Reward yourself when you accomplish something
Whether it’s ordering a pizza at the end of a long day or watching an episode or two of your favourite show on Netflix (I recommend Dynasty, just saying), it’s important to recognize your accomplishments even if it’s in a small way.
By allowing yourself to treat yourself when you have actually completed a paper or wrote out all the notes for a final, you’ll be able to relax and feel good about all the work you completed.
More water, less coffee
Water is key to self-care. Drinking water all day every day will help you feel better physically and mentally. During finals, I know I feel like I need a caffeine IV.
“The reduced caffeine intake has helped me to be less anxious and on edge when studying, so I get a lot more done.”
In the past few months, I have reduced my caffeine intake a lot and increased the amount of water I drink. Because of this, I feel better all the time.
I’m not saying don’t ever drink coffee – I still drink coffee or Red Bull, but now I don’t feel like I need it to survive. It’s a nice feeling. Also, the reduced caffeine intake has helped me to be less anxious and on edge when studying, so I get a lot more done. As well, I find it a lot easier to stay asleep at night.
That way, when I wake up in the morning I want to take on the day and enjoy drinking a coffee, rather than feeling like a zombie without it.
I personally use the gym as my main de-stressor. Nothing gets me in a better headspace than going to the gym.
I feel so good physically and mentally when I work out. However, it can be hard to find time to go to the gym, so even taking a walk or doing some yoga in your house are ways to feel better and take care of your physical and, in turn, mental health.
Self-care is easy when you make it a part of your daily routine. Self-care can be small things that enable you to keep your physical and mental health in check when your schedule is super tight. Finals are a busy time for every student, but taking care of yourself will make it a little less stressful.
When your mind is in the right place, the rest will follow.