As students, we often overload ourselves with things like classes, sports, clubs, and social events. While those are all great things, everyone has their limits when it comes to busy schedules. Unfortunately, we live in a world where taking a break to take care of yourself, mentally and physically, is often viewed in a negative way. We have so many expectations placed on us. There can be a lot of pressure to keep adding more activities into the mix. But people can only be super productive for so long, and then, because they’re human, they must take a break.
This is where the importance of self-care comes in. When I think of self-care, I tend to think of lighting a candle, binge watching Grey’s Anatomy, and doing a face mask. While these are all great ways to destress, self-care can come in many other forms. It’s most often the little things that make the biggest difference.
Knowing when you’re too overwhelmed
It is the first step in taking care of yourself. For many people, fall is an especially busy time of year, so it’s not uncommon for things to pile up pretty quickly. When this happens, it’s helpful to take a step back and prioritize. In the long run, it’s better to dedicate lots of time and energy to a handful of things than it is spread yourself thin over fifteen different after school activities.
It probably sounds cliché, but it’s crazy how much spending time outside influences your mood. Especially during this time of the year when the weather is perfect, there is no shortage of COVID friendly outdoor activities. Going on runs or walks can be a perfect way to clear your mind on a study break. There are also lots of parks and hiking spots around Alabama to take advantage of during the fall season. Some of my favorites are Red Mountain Park and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Even just an hour outside makes a world of difference.
Something that is often overlooked, but a crucial form of self-care, is sleeping enough! I can’t tell you how many people my age are usually only running on five hours of sleep. Relying on coffee to keep you awake through the next day may seem like a good idea at the time, but eventually it will catch up with you, and you’ll most likely end up even more tired and stressed than when you started. I know it’s a little unrealistic to expect to get a full eight hours a night, but sticking to a consistent sleeping schedule can help you maintain a good night routine.
While these tips probably aren’t new information for most people, we all need a little reminder sometimes to slow down and learn to take a break occasionally.
For additional tips on how to provide self-care check out 3 Relaxing Ways to Spend a Mental Health Day