As the new school year sets in, we begin to experience the  typical cocktail of excitement, nervousness, & sometimes anxiety that comes along with the start of a new year. Whether you are a first-time college student or a second-year graduate student like myself, it’s important to take time to practice self-care. Please feel free to use the following tips and strategies to implement self-care  into your daily routine as needed (and deserved)!

“Self-care describes the actions that an individual might take in order to reach optimal physical and mental health.”

College is a time of late-night studying and pre-test jitters, but by prioritizing and making time for taking care of yourself, you can get through each day a little easier. Following are some tips and strategies you can do to make sure you are ready to tackle each day!

Basic Needs

  • Get enough sleep
  • Drink lots of water
  • Make time to eat
  • Stay physically active

Manage Stress

  • Use a planner or calendar to plan out your week, doing assignments last minute or not taking personal time can increase stress levels
  • Know when to say “no”. If you have a lot on your plate already, don’t feel obligated to go somewhere or do something if you don’t have time.
  • Have a plan to tackle a stressful moment. Maybe meditating for 10-15 minutes might help or taking deep breaths before a test. Perhaps watching a funny video on YouTube can get your mind off negative thoughts, find something that works for you.

Focus on YOU

  • Life isn’t a competition, take care of yourself by woking at your pace.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others
  • Keep positive people in your life. You don’t have time in your schedule for negativity.
  • Know your strengths and use it to your advantage.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments. Grab your favorite Starbucks drink after you got an A on that test you took or treat yourself to a bubblebath after you ran your first 5k.
  • Take a mental break by turning off your phone and all other distractions
  • Do something that inspires you. This can keep you feeling positive and motivated.
  • Forgive yourself and forgive others. We all make mistakes such as waking up late for class or forgetting a best friend’s birthday. Don’t beat yourself over mistakes, but use it as a learning experience.
  • When you’re feeling drained, take time to recharge.

Morning Routine

  • Start your day with a smile
  • Play your favorite song while you get ready for the day
  • Tell yourself that you are LOVED and believe it because it’s true!

Self-care works best when you practice it regularly. The more often you take time to love yourself, the happier you can feel and the easier it will be to tackle any setbacks. Know that we are all in this together [High School Musical reference] and that you deserve to be the best that you can be if you make the time for it.

If you are finding yourself needing some help during a really stressful time, know that seeking help is a sign of strength. Feel free to check out our services for students at Gannon University if you or a classmate may be seeking professional help: