It’s important to set aside time for self-care.
I don’t mean just face masks and bubble baths like you see on Instagram or VSCO, but genuinely taking time to do things you enjoy (which can include those things, but should also go beyond that).
Additionally, self-care should include healthy habits that reduce stress.
College can be really stressful, and once you throw in things like work, taking care of your living space and health, RSOs and other obligations, it can be even more overwhelming.
I know I sometimes get so panicked over my mile-long to-do list that I end up doing none of it, instead wasting time on my phone or spending several hours cooking and baking so I at least feel vaguely productive.
I feel like I’m finally starting to get the hang of time management, and that’s an important thing to know how to do.
I’ve finally trained myself to keep a planner and actually fill it out and look at it, and I’ve spent years trying to keep a planner routine.
I have a pen that has buttons to write in four colors, and I use one color for class, one for work, one for deadlines and one for extracurriculars like RSOs or things I’m planning with my friends.
This has helped me stay on top of my work a little bit better, and it’s also made me less forgetful.
I’ve also started a hair care routine, after years of poor hair decisions.
Every other morning, I wash and blow dry it, and on the days I don’t wash it, I dry shampoo it. I also re-dye my roots every five to six weeks.
So far, this has made my hair look a lot nicer, and in turn, boosted my self-esteem.
One other issue I’ve had is finding time to watch things I’m interested in.
This summer, my brother and I watched a season of American Horror Story on Netflix.
I enjoyed it, and I wanted to watch more of it.
FX just started airing the new season last week, so I decided I’m setting an alarm on my phone for 9:55 p.m. every Wednesday night, so I can be ready to watch the show at 10 p.m.
It seems like a silly thing, but the fact that I have a designated time to watch a show I like, and not allow myself to do anything else, is a huge relief.
Setting limits with my phone and social media has also been a big step forward in selfcare for me.
I downloaded an app called Forest that sets a timer encouraging you not to have any other apps running while it goes.
If you make it through the whole time, you get “coins” that can be traded inside the app, and which the developers will use to plant a real tree.
I also set up Screen Time on my phone. It basically gives you a notification once you’ve spent too much time on your phone, and the only apps you won’t get a notification from are ones you select for “always allow,” like texts, calls and emails.
This has helped me be a lot more mindful in my phone use. In the last week, my average phone time per day is already down.
While not everyone may need the same self-care activities as I do, I think they are some good starting points.
Some other things to try that could be helpful are setting aside a specific time every day to journal, meditate, do some yoga.
Meal prepping is also really helpful. Finding time for a few small cleaning activities, like making the bed or loading the dishwasher every morning before class or work, can also be helpful.
It’s really important to figure out a personal routine that will help you relax, whether it’s cleaning, keeping a planner or journal, forming a skin or hair care regimen or setting aside time to watch a show or movie you like.