As we come up to the most stressful and important time of year, as students we need to recognise when to take breaks and look after ourselves. Safe to say that this most commonly happens around this time of year, and of course we all want to do well in our coursework and exams but we need to make sure that we don’t overwork ourselves.
I’m a big believer in the practice of self-care which can sound a little bit ‘hippy’ and ‘new age’ but I think it’s something that we ALL forget to do. Where we just take a break from what we are doing and just doing something relaxing or an act that looks after ourselves.
The basic definition of self-care is to identify your own needs and taking steps to meet them – so by taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself kindly. Like I just said, it’s about identifying your own needs so some of the self-care tips that I detail below might not be for you and that’s fine!
- Practice meditation – I know right off the bat this sounds like such a hippy thing to do! But meditation genuinely is just taking a breather for 10 minutes with no distractions! There are a lot of guided meditation videos on YouTube, but personally I use the free app Headspace which is particularly helpful with meditation and being mindful
Download the app here
- Wear a nice outfit and put on some make-up – Obviously the latter part of that tip only applies girls and anybody else who wears make up. But I think both of those actions, where by you’re putting effort into your appearance so that you feel good, just for yourself and nobody else can be beneficial. Sometimes as well if you’re just doing your work or sitting around in very casual clothes it can make you feel a little lethargic, whereas if you put on a nice outfit and maybe put a bit of make up on, you may feel a lot better about yourself.
- Eat some fruit with a cold glass of water – A tip that comes in two-fold; drinking water will keep you hydrated and especially if you don’t drink water a lot then that will definitely be beneficial towards you! The cold water will make you feel more refreshed and then eating something healthy like a piece of fruit will be good for your body as well. So in general, this tip is just a quick and simple way that you can take care of your body.
- Read a book – Again, this is might not be for everyone if you don’t like reading for pleasure. But even if you just take a moment to read ten pages or a chapter, it’s a good way just to spend a moment with yourself to recharge. I should mention as well that ideally you shouldn’t be reading something that’s necessarily academic or part of your studies, in order for you to fully take a break!
- Take a walk for at least 30 minutes – It’s pretty safe to assume that whilst you’ve been studying and doing your work, you’ve been sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time! Therefore just taking a walk for about 30 minutes (or really however long you want), will get you being a bit active and separate you from your work. Not to mention that the university campus is nearby Hanley park and the Nature reserve, especially if you live in Clarice Cliff accommodation or in Leek Road halls!
As I’ve reiterated throughout, these tips may not work for you and that’s fine! There are countless videos and blogs online, which detail many more self care tips, which might work for you. Do you know of any more self-care tips that you do? Let us know!