10 Self-Care Tips For When The Semester Gets Stressful

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Whether it’s midterms or finals, each semester has a way of getting stressful. Sometimes it can seem impossible to keep that stress under control. The following 10 tips can help you feel more in control amidst the chaos of classes and homework.

Take time out of the day to RELAX

This can be a tough one. It seems impossible to take just 15 minutes to relax and not think about the many things on your list of to-dos. However, it is crucial to keep sane throughout the semester. Take at least 15 minutes or more out of your day to lay down on your couch or bed and set aside your responsibilities. Take time to release the steam of the day. Set aside that homework. Set aside that broom or mop. It can wait. Your mental health cannot. It’s also important to note that relaxation comes in many forms. It could be reading a book, cooking, etc. Whatever helps you decompress. Do whatever is best for you.

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Keep a journal of THANKS

Journal and pens to release stress

When we get preoccupied with our own troubles, we forget what to be thankful for. We forget about the parts in our life that give us happiness. To keep that positivity in your life, it is important to write down at least five things you are grateful for each day. This doesn’t have to take long, just a few minutes should do it. However, the difference will show. You will be happier and life won’t get you down as easily.

Participate in a social media FAST every once in a while

Social media: one of the biggest distractions a student could have. And during the semester, you can’t afford those extra distractions. Also, social media can lower self-esteem and generally lower confidence in a person. Who needs that extra stress with everything you already have going on? Limit your social media usage and you are sure to feel the difference.

Find an OUTLET to express your emotions from the day

Whether it be a yoga or Zumba class on campus or breaking out your guitar and strumming a few songs, find a way to decompress. Release your emotions from the day that have been bottling up inside. Find something that is specific to you; that works for you. Once you make time for this outlet in your life each day (or as often as you can), you will find that you are happier. Plus, it will be easier to take on the day.

SLEEP, SLEEP, & SLEEP

Young woman sitting on bed with laptop open in the dark

The average college student tends to forget that sleep is a vital part of life. We’re all probably guilty of saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” However, countless health studies would suggest that is not a good idea. Instead of thinking that you don’t have time to sleep because you have so much to do, flip the script. Reframe your thoughts to think how much more you could accomplish if you got an extra hour or two of sleep. We challenge you to try it and see how it affects you.

Do NOT skip breakfast

Egg with avocado on toast

You’re probably thinking: “But, I don’t have the time!” I didn’t think I did either until I went to the doctor. They told me that if I didn’t stop skipping meals then I would become hypoglycemic. After that, I went out of my way to make time for breakfast. Whether it’s a granola bar, a home-cooked meal, or even a pop tart on the go, making time for breakfast is critical for your physical and emotional health. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

PRIORITIZE your time

Many students tend to procrastinate their assignments until the last minute then quickly regret it. When you procrastinate, you don’t get breaks. You have a finite amount of time to finish the assignment. Don’t go crazy by having to complete three hours worth of homework in 30 minutes because you procrastinated. Long story short, prioritize your time so you don’t have to worry about not getting those breaks that you need.

STRETCH out your body

When you’re stressed, your body tenses up and can sometimes make your muscles hurt. Something that is important is to stretch out those stressed muscles to get the tension out. Just physically moving your body helps. Whether you’re shooting for your 10,000 steps, trying to “close your rings,” or just need to walk around a bit, moving your body can do wonders.

Take time to EXERCISE

Woman rolling up a yoga mat

If possible, take at least 30 minutes out of your day to be active. There is a gym right on campus that is free for all students that offers classes for Zumba, biking, yoga, and much more. The gym also has loads of equipment that is free for any student to use. If you don’t feel like making the trek to campus, try out a YouTube channel like Blogilates. It’s a channel with a ton of workouts that are free to follow along with. They even have beginner workouts for those who are just starting out.

Set GOALS and hold yourself accountable

If you don’t set goals, none of these bits of advice will work in your favor. In order to follow these tips, you need to make goals to incorporate them in your everyday life. One way to keep up with goals you set is through an app called Habit Share. Habit Share lets you enter the goals you want to set and has you record when you accomplish those goals for the day. It also has the ability to remind you to work toward your goal. On top of all of that, you can share your goals with a family member or friend, so they can help hold you accountable.

We’re not suggesting that these will work for everyone, and you may need to tweak things to fit your lifestyle. However, if you follow these tips, they can help you take control of the semester rather than letting the semester take control of you. Let us know if you have any other tips and tricks to managing stress in your life, we’d love to hear from you.