While getting the most out of the university experience and thinking about the future is important, taking care of yourself and your mental health should always be your top priority. This Friday (15th March) is World Sleep Day 2019 and (of course) getting around eight hours sleep is one of the most well-known examples of self-care. Getting enough sleep decreases our risk of health conditions, manages hunger levels, maintains the immune system and improves memory retention. However, this isn’t the only method of self-care – here are some tips to help you take care of yourself when you’re stressed.
1. Eat Breakfast
Breakfast is regarded as the most important meal of the day for a reason – eating something in the morning sets you up for the challenges ahead and fuels you for the rest of the day making you more productive, helping you avoid unnecessary snacking between meals on unhealthy food.
2. Ask For Help
If you don’t know how to do something – ask! Admitting you need help isn’t a sign of weakness. Rather, it shows you’re a good team player and are willing to accept that you can’t do everything – play to your strengths!
3. Be Kinder To Yourself
Everyone is different, and everyone has their own goals, their own pace and their own life. Don’t compare your life to anyone else’s and don’t scrutinize the lives of your friends and colleagues on social media – they might have just completed a goal and posted about it but don’t let this distract you from your own aspirations. Set realistic goals and reward yourself for completing them.
4. Give Your Mind A Break
We spend so much time on our phones, looking at computer screens and watching television that it’s easy to forget there’s a world outside of our virtual one. Be still, enjoy some silence and appreciate nature.
5. Take A Break From Social Media
While it is important to be social, living on social media and putting your whole life online isn’t good for your mental health. Try putting your phone down for an hour a day and see if you miss it. If you don’t, see if you can go a few hours without. It’s especially good to stay away from your phone immediately before you go to bed.
6. Indulge In Some Me-Time
It’s often hard to do the things you want to do if you’re balancing work with university and other commitments. Try and schedule some time for yourself to unwind and relax – read a novel, watch a film or go for a walk!
7. Care For Your Body
As the saying goes: healthy body, healthy mind. Drink lots of water and try and get at least 30 mins of exercise each day. And afterwards, have a bath and put on a face mask and some comfy clothes – guaranteed to make you feel better!
8. Buy A Plant
Nurturing plants has major therapeutic benefits and studies show that plants increase productivity by up to 15%. So, what are you waiting on? Buy a plant! Care for it and care for yourself in the process!