Student Self Care & Keeping Positive!
During this time, we don’t need to tell you how important it is to take care of yourself! Everything is so uncertain and with everything going on, it’s no surprise we’ve forgotten some aspects of self care. Students just starting uni don’t know what to expect, and returning students may be feeling a little down. But don’t worry! With it being World Mental Health Day on October 10th, we’re taking some time to make sure our students are feeling as positive as possible, reminding them that everything is an experience and there’s always a solution to everything. Integrating self care into your life is so easy to do! There are loads of small things you can do to make sure you’re really looking out for yourself as we head into the academic year.
💡 Mind 💡
Know your worth
Knowing your worth is sooooooo important! When you figure out your capabilities and values, your confidence will increase dramatically. When this does, your actions will be different. You’ll carry yourself in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise have done and this might change the outcome of a lot of actions you take! You won’t be thinking about trying to impress the people around you and you can focus on your own path.
Surround yourself with good people
Having a strong and supportive group of people around you makes a huge amount of difference to your life. Being able to contact and communicate with people throughout the week who you know have your best interest at heart is paramount. If you’re someone who struggles to make friends, building up your confidence will help this a lot. At uni, there are tons of societies for different interests. Join a society with like-minded people and go from there - that way you know you already have something in common with them and you will always have a means of communication. Making the first move is always the hardest and although you might be out of your comfort zone, it’ll be the best thing you do for yourself! If you aren’t too close with your family, make sure you arrange to have regular facetimes and calls with your friends. Being in lockdown in your flat will mean you’ll have a lot of time to talk to your besties! Remember, there is always are support you can get at uni if you’re struggling with anything like this! Don’t suffer in silence.
Set realistic goals & stick to them
To optimise productivity when you’re a student, set yourself some weekly goals. It really doesn’t matter how big or small they are, just get them done! Looking back at the end of the week knowing you did what you set out to do can be a huge boost in confidence, not to mention you feel like you’ve really got your life in order - let’s face it, something a lot of students need! Some weekly goals can include: writing up and going through notes from your lectures this week, changing your bedding, having a wardrobe clear out, deep cleaning your bathroom, saving £20, tidying your room, putting a wash on, the list goes on!
Unwind at the end of the day
Whether you’re one of those people that falls asleep as soon as they hit the pillow or someone who tosses and turns trying to sleep at the end of the day - unwinding will clear your mind and help you completely relax. When you get into bed, try to push everything from that day out of your mind. The day’s done and you’ve done your absolute best, so relax knowing it’s over and focus on getting some good sleep. Some ways to help you unwind can be meditating/heavy breathing, doing some yoga, writing down all your thoughts from the day in a journal, or snuggling up with a good book. Whatever you choose, take comfort in knowing you’ll wake up the next day feeling refreshed and positive about the day ahead.
Learning to cope with stress
Stress is inevitable, especially given the current situation and the fact you’re a student. It’s the dealing with it part that you’ll have to get good at in order to not let it completely take over your life. Looking at stressful situations logically will help this a lot. What is it that you’re stressed about? What are the solutions? Is it as bad as you think it is? Thinking about real solutions for what you’re stressed about will help bring the problem back to reality - because if you’re stressed, you’ll be overthinking everything! Some other things to help with stress include making lists, communicating with supportive people, doing breathing exercises, controlling your time with time management and downloading some apps to help with relaxation. You can also find tons of information on this online!
💤 Body 💤
You should never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep! Your uni sleep schedule is like no other - you won’t have to get up early every morning, you’re more likely to be staying up very late and you’ll have time throughout the day where you’ll probably get back in bed! Though it’s tempting to push yourself to the absolute limits knowing you’ve not got uni until 3pm the next day, it is crucial you stick to some kind of routine during your time there! Get into the habit of having the same schedule every morning and night. Every morning, try to get up and out of bed for a realistic time that you’ll stick to, regardless of whether you have plans. Sitting around in bed for hours after you wake up will make you feel sluggish and lazy, putting everything you have to do on hold. You’re at your most productive in the morning, so do everything you need to when you get up! Go to sleep at a reasonable time and aim to get 7-9 hours a night. We know this isn’t always going to happen and that’s fine, we get it. But do this one thing for yourself and you’ll be thinking yourself.
Through your busy uni schedule, it can be hard to find time for exercise. Joining the gym and paying for a membership seems like the last thing some students want to do in between working, socialising and trying to save money. But with so many guaranteed benefits from just doing a little bit each day, exercising regularly has a huge pay off! Exercise is scientifically proven to make you feel happier - decreasing feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. It’s good for your muscles and bones, increases your energy, can help with your skin and helps with brain health! Exercise can also help with your memory - which is perfect for your assignments and exams! Even if you don’t have time to do a full workout or even go to the gym, doing an at-home 15 minute routine every day will make you feel more accomplished and better within yourself! Looking for a route and going for a run every day is equally as rewarding. Finding what works best for you and sticking to it will be what makes it effective!
Uni is the home of takeaways! Sometimes you just cannot be bothered and it feels like ordering in is the only option for you. However, uni is also the perfect opportunity to get into cooking if you haven’t been able to practise before. Knowing what’s good for your body and knowing what tastes good goes hand in hand when getting the perfect balance of healthy and yummy when cooking. Download some cooking apps and get into it! When you’ve practised enough, it’ll become second nature and even something like doing your weekly food shop will become exciting! Make sure you get a wide variety of products to eat, including fruit or veg with each meal.
☀️ Lifestyle ☀️
We won’t bore you with how social media and being on your phone completely melts your brain like everyone thinks because having your phone definitely has its advantages. However, it is fair to say they’ve completely taken over and every aspect in our lives pretty much centres around our phones. This is why it won’t do you, or any of us, any harm to have a little detox. Not relying on your phone will allow you to focus on other more important pursuits in life, finding time for something you might not have done otherwise. Using social media may be linked to mental health concerns, pressure to show you’re doing well and decreasing your self-esteem - which can all be draining! Constantly checking your phone can link to an affect on your work, bringing your potential down. Having social content at the tip of your fingers means a constant comparison between other people’s lives and yours - meaning you may never be happy with what you’ve got. Refocusing your energy on other things will give you the chance to be truly content and appreciative of everything you are and everything you have! So we’re not asking you to lock it in a cupboard for a week because people are gonna worry about you. Maybe just allocate a couple of afternoons a week or an hour after the work day where you turn your phone off and just do something else!
Yes that’s right, treat yourself! It’s important that through all this, we have things to look forward to no matter how big or small. If treating yourself means getting a milkshake after a bad day at uni or running a nice hot bath - do it! Sometimes you have to listen to your mind and body and give it what it really needs. Treating yourself is part and parcel of being a student - it’s deserved as you’re going through a huge adjustment which serves differently for different people. So whether you wanna spend a little bit of money on some new clothes or buy that makeup product you’ve always wanted, know it’s fine and sometimes we really do need to treat ourselves to something that’ll make us happy.
Start a hobby
Starting a hobby will create a happy medium between your work and your social life, and will give you something to look forward to! It can be basically anything you want, but here are some good examples: photography, scrapbooking, drawing/painting, learning an instrument, baking/cooking, yoga and running. The list goes on, and with so many to choose from you’re bound to find something that suits you best. Having a hobby also means you’ve got structure and something to work towards in life, giving you drive and ambition! It keeps you busy and you can spend as much or as little time you want on it each week.
Do what makes you happy
It really is that simple! The person you need to take care of the most is you because you’re the only person living your life - so doing what makes you happy will be your key. Looking out for you is paramount if you want a happy life. As mentioned before, treat yourself and just do things that you know will make you feel better. If there’s something in your life you’re not happy with - try to find a solution and make it a positive thing. Once you’re happy, the rest will follow!
✨ 10 positive reminders ✨
It’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe
Learn to rest, not to quit
In order to love who you are, you can’t hate the experiences that made you
You have choices and you’re allowed to grow and change
All great things take time
It’s okay to not have it all figured out yet
You’re your own person and this is your life
Acknowledge even the smallest of victories
One day at a time
The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine
We hope you've taken some positive points away from this. Looking after you is so important, so take some time out to really plan how you can get the best out of your life and your future. Manifest what you want, then go and get it!
Trust me - you've got this! For more amazing quotes, follow our Mental Health Awareness Quotes board and for all things student, visit our Student Hub on site! 💖