Inspirational Sign saying “You Matter”. Image by Jon Tyson, Creative Commons.
It’s September; the month where stress is high, morale is low, and sleep is practically non-existent. Ultimately, all of the stress and overwhelming burn-out from school and other classes start to take a toll on our mental health, and we tend to start to neglect our own basic needs. These issues are exactly why it is important to set aside some time every day or week to do some self-care and de-stress. And as September is National Self-Care Awareness Month, what better time than now to learn about self-care!
Self-care can be as simple as taking a small power nap after school, hanging out with friends, or even just going outside after studying for hours on end. As many students suffer with anxiety, depression, and stress, here are some self-care tips to uplift your mind and help destress:
- Listen to your favorite song or a relaxing playlist.
- Have a healthy sleep schedule: it might seem hard with all the homework and extracurriculars students have, but sleeping at least 8 hours a day is crucial for your mental and physical health.
- Exercise: Exercising not only improves your physical health but it’s proven to improve mental health as well! Exercises like running, swimming, meditating, etc., have been proven to help with stress, anxiety, and depression, but also release endorphins that can help you concentrate and feel refreshed after a long day.
- Go Outside: You don’t have to do anything that big like going on a 5k run, but just going outside to get a breath of fresh air can make all the difference.
- Light a candle or turn on a diffuser: Comforting scents can help us clear our minds and destress.
- Try to have at least one mental health day every month where you take time for yourself.
- Have a cozy space that you can sit or lie down in: this can just be a corner in your room with a bunch of pillows and blankets, but have a nook where you can be comfortable and relax in.
- Hang out with friends: sometimes being alone can be overwhelming when you have a lot of stress and anxiety, try to destress and do something fun with friends.
- Let out your emotions: Whether you scream into a pillow or just cry your heart out to a depressing song, it’s always healthy to let out any bottled-up emotions or feelings you might have.
- Do some of your hobbies: taking some time to do some of the activities you love during stressful times can make all the difference.
- Journal: This can be an outlet for your emotions; you can vent, or just write any thoughts or ideas that come into your head.
- Organize your room or space: When you’re stressed, a messy room/workspace versus a clean/organized workspace makes all the difference. Uncluttering your space can help you organize your thoughts and relieve anxiety and stress, and finishing your chores while doing so
- Use bath bombs or take a hot shower: sometimes a hot shower or nice bubble bath is exactly what you need for anxiety and stress.
- Watch TV: sometimes you need to do a mindless activity that gives you joy, whether it means binge-watching your favorite show, cartoons, or videos on YouTube.
- Last, but not least, be kind to yourself: try to compliment yourself or say positive affirmations, try not to be hard on yourself, you’re doing great!
School may seem hard or stressful as there is a lot of pressure to excel, but it’s important to prioritize your health; both physically and mentally, and set aside some time to do a little self-care.