Lifestyle, Mental Health

Making Time for Self Care

drinking-tea

By: Aria Gray MPH: Maternal and Child Health candidate 2017

The weather is getting (a little bit) colder, and my to-do list is getting much longer. I’ve had several recent conversations with friends in passing about how busy and overwhelmed we are starring to feel as assignments and obligations start to pile up. And I’ve started to rationalize that if I skipped my planned exercise class or morning walk or cancelled plans, I would have more time to tackle all of the things that need to get done. However, even though it’s important to do well and succeed in school, it is also important to take care of yourself! Practicing Self are will help to prevent overload burnout, will reduce the negative effects of stress, and will also help you refocus.

Here are some tips for Self Care

  • Make time to eat well and exercise: No need to cook gourmet meals and workout for multiple hours per day, but it is important to remember to fill your body with good and nutrient dense food (with occasional treats!) and to take time to move your body every day.
  • Don’t overschedule: It may be tempting to fill your schedule up with extracurricular activities and social events on top of classes and homework, but everything starts to add up eventually. Set aside time each week for yourself even if it means saying no.
  • Get enough sleep: Make getting enough sleep a priority. I set an alarm on my phone every day 45 minutes before my ideal bedtime, which gives me enough time to get organized for the next day and to wind down any activity or assignment that I am working on, which has improved the amount of sleep that I get. It may also be helpful to set a caffeine cut off time each day and to limit screen time before bed.
  • Spend time each day NOT working: Even though there is always something productive that you could be doing, it is important to take a break each day. Take a study break by going on a short walk with a friend or take real break at lunchtime and don’t look at your computer. Make time for hobbies and activities that you enjoy like reading for pleasure, sports, and cooking.

Check out this list of TED Talks to learn more about self-care.

  • clueckin

    Self-care is one of the easiest things to slip. These simple tips provide tangible ways to continue or reincorporate self-care in to routine. I always wonder why taking care of oneself can be so hard to do? What kind of effects does lack of self-care have on families, communities, and our nation as a whole?

  • shaunalayres

    This is so important and often neglected, especially among college students. I know in the my field of public health, the focus is always on helping others, but we forget that we have to take care of ourselves before we can help others. I think that is why the burn out rate in public health and humanitarian work is so high. Moderating self-care is the key to a balanced, productive, and happy life. I'm still trying to figure this out so your tips are welcomed. Thanks!