5 Self-Care Techniques For Overwhelmed College Students5 min read
Taking care of yourself on an emotional level can be difficult. Juggling classes, studying, meeting new people–it’s easy to lose sight of your wellbeing. When you’re overwhelmed by college life, your mental health may start suffering. Over time, this can start to have a negative impact on your grades, relationships, finances, social life—you name it.
In order for things to get better you must first feel good. Achieving mental wellness in the face of so many causes for stress takes practice. Here’s how self care can help.
FIRST, What is Self-Care?
Self care is what you do to develop, protect, and improve your wellbeing–emotionally, physically, psychologically and personally. As a college student, you’ll find that self-care can make all the difference for your success.
Practicing self care will keep you focused on your goals, values and peace of mind. Everyone practices self-care differently but they all share one thing in common: self care is part of their day-to-day life.
You just have to find out what works for you and when better to explore this than while in college?
Here are our self care top picks for college students:
gIVE YOURSELF Me Time
Getting “Me Time” can be difficult, especially when living in dorms. Focusing on your feelings and practicing self-care probably hasn’t been the first thing on your mind–but it’s crucial.
Feelings Chart: Check in with how you’ve been feeling and hook yourself up with a Feelings Chart.
So long as you see it everyday, it’ll encourage you to make a note of how you’re feeling. The first step to managing your emotions is knowing them.
Meditation: If you’re not too keen on a feelings chart, get in tune with your emotions by meditating. Take time for yourself, stop and reflect. Give yourself a break and benefit from some Me Time. Meditation can be as easy as taking a couple of deep breaths or as energizing as practicing yoga. Whatever it is you decide–the aim is to recharge.
Stress-free living is a myth. There will always be things that stress you out, this is out of your control. However, you have the power to control how you react to it.
“It’s not the load that carries you down, it’s the way you carry it.”–Lou Holtz
Instead of letting stress consume you, learn how to manage it. As classes start to intensify you might feel stressed, because you’re not managing your time well. We’ve all been there.
Managing your time well is a learning process. The key to efficient time management is learning how to separate urgent tasks from the less important. When you prioritize demands for your time along those lines, you’ll find it a lot easier to get things done.
Often times, when we’re stressed because of something–like an assignment, exam or even classwork–we overwork ourselves, in hopes that it’ll fix the situation. In moments of high stress, taking a break becomes even more important for your mental health.
It may seem difficult at firt but when you give yourself permission to step away from what needs to be done–it will help you put things into better perspective.
When you return to your task, you’ll feel more refreshed and ready to get back at it.
Reflect, grow, adapt
Self-reflection is a self care practice that truth be told is often overlooked. Research shows that when you question and actively think about your experiences, you’re more likely to make positive changes that will help you overcome tough situations.
Bullet Journalling: Makes tracking the past, organising the present and planning the future quick and easy. It will allow you to clarify your thoughts and feelings. It gives you the chance to weed out distractions and focus your time and energy in pursuit of what’s truly meaningful in your college life.
Accomplishment and vision boards: Create accomplishment and vision boards to help you identify your next steps. They give you space to layout where you are and where you want to be while staying focused on your achievements and goals.
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection, from the quiet reflection will come even more effective action”–Peter F. Drucker
talk it out
Sometimes our feelings can be too overwhelming to handle ourselves. Many students seek support from mental health counselors and there’s no shame in that. Be proactive about seeking treatment when you need it. We all could use some counseling from time to time.
College can be stressful and overwhelming. That’s what your school Counseling Services are here for. Use them when you need them. If you’re a bit shy or can’t manage to see a counselor, consider joining free mental health support communites like Kinde to talk through your issues, and gain access to proven therapy exercises.
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