Between study, part-time work, and your social life, it can be hard to find the time to take care of yourself. But without self-care, you may find yourself experiencing burnout and struggling to maintain your busy schedule. While self-care is often associated with long bubble baths and weekends away, it can also be as simple as getting enough sleep and taking time away from your desk.
Let’s take you through some easy self-care tips and ideas that even the busiest student can fit into their schedule.
Schedule in downtime to recharge after studying
When faced with deadlines and upcoming exams, we usually try to avoid the activities that we consider to be a waste of time. While not an excuse to binge-watch Netflix, scheduling in some time to read a book, watch a movie, or listen to a podcast can help you feel more relaxed. Whether it’s a couple of hours every evening, or one full day per week, you need to learn how to relax your mind. Setting some time aside for yourself can help you relax and recharge.
Cook yourself a nutritious meal
We all know that healthy eating provides us with numerous physical and mental health benefits. From preventing illness to supporting cognitive function, food plays a very important role in our overall health and wellbeing. One of the best ways to know exactly what you’re eating is to cook for yourself. While ordering food for delivery and heating up ready meals is easy, one of the best self-care tips for students is that cooking meals for yourself can be very therapeutic. You might decide to try out a few different recipes each week, or practice mastering a certain recipe that you love. Check out the Torrens University free ebook full of international recipes for inspiration!
Do some yoga
Whether it’s getting yourself to a class at your local studio, or following an instructor on YouTube, yoga is all about taking the time to slow down and connect with yourself. Yoga is an exercise that you can do no matter your energy levels. Even if you’re feeling tired, a few restorative yoga poses are very doable, and can quickly boost your mood, which is great if you are wondering how to relax your mind.
Get enough sleep
Sometimes self-care can really be as simple as getting enough sleep. To receive the many benefits of a good night's sleep, adults need to get around seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If you’re struggling with your sleeping habits then you should think about creating a relaxing bedtime routine. It’s a good idea to stop studying by a certain time every night to give yourself the chance to wind down for the evening. For example, after you finish studying, you could have a warm bath and read a book until you feel tired enough to fall asleep.
Spend time in nature
Did you know that spending time in nature can offer significant mood and mental health benefits? Whether it’s going for a hike or simply sitting in your local park, studies have revealed that people who spend two hours a week in nature are happier and healthier compared to people who don’t. This might mean swapping the library desk for a table in a park a couple of times a week, or trying to spend some time in the green spaces in and around Torrens University.
Connect with your friends and family
The pandemic has shown us just how important our social connections are to our overall well-being. Our friends and family provide support, laughter, and connection when we need it most. Sometimes just having lunch or a coffee with a close friend can turn a bad day into a good one. If your friends and family are overseas, make sure to reach out over the phone, video call, or social media. A good conversation with someone you love can make all the difference.
Learn to say no
Are you feeling overwhelmed with academic, social, and work commitments? Then it’s a good idea to start setting some boundaries. Start by prioritising the activities that are most important to you and learn to say no to the things that aren’t. While working towards your goals is important, you don’t have to say yes to every activity or event that comes your way. Try letting go of a couple of work shifts, or only seeing your friends twice a week instead of every day. Learning to set boundaries around your schedule is an important element of self-care.
Organise your space
If you’re wondering how to feel more relaxed at home, your environment can have a big impact on your mental state. A big clean-out can provide a much-needed mental reset. If you have let your bedroom or workspace get a little out of control, then you might like to dedicate some time to organising these areas. When you’re living and studying in a clean and organised environment, you’re very likely to feel happier and more motivated.
Seeking support and advice when you need it is important self-care practise. You should recognise when you need help, and know where to find it. Torrens University offers a range of student support services to international students and you can explore these options within the wellbeing and diversity student support section on the Student Hub.