Making time for yourself can be easily forgotten in the madness of starting university. Everything is new and exciting but can also be overwhelming. When the initial orientation into partying, microwave meals and 4 hours sleep is over, it could be time to incorporate a little bit of self-care into your new student lifestyle.
Life can feel a little all-over-the -place if you don’t have a routine to keep a sense of normality in these abnormal times. Instead of starting the day by eating last night’s pizza at 2pm, set a regular alarm and eat a simple, healthy breakfast. And now you have the chance to choose everything you eat- embrace it! If you cook yourself a good meal at least once a day, not only is your body going to thank you, it will be much easier to establish a routine.
Simply moving your body is an amazing way to care for your physical and mental wellbeing. Thankfully, if you’re a fresher living in university halls, you have an Edge gym membership included. Unfortunately, this does mean you have less excuse not to go the gym, but it’s definitely not for everyone. A quick walk, a run or a society activity is also great for getting your body moving and those positive endorphins flowing. If you would prefer not to venture out into the cold, a quick YouTube yoga or workout video is my favourite on a rainy day.
Mix up your working environment. With most lectures online this year the temptation to work from the comfort of your decorative cushion adorned bed will be strong. Even moving to the kitchen to work changes it up. The libraries will be open as somewhere less distracting to work or treat yourself to a coffee and study at a café. It is amazing how much more you can get done away from the lure of Netflix!
Socialising is a big part of university for most and it is fantastic for your mood as well. Chatting to flatmates, meeting course friends or a society social will ensure you don’t get overwhelmed by loneliness. The likelihood is a lot of people will be feeling the same as you, and what’s the worst that can happen if you go along to a Give it a Go or ask a housemate to grab some lunch?
I love to schedule and plan everything, but I’m aware this is not the norm for most students. However, sometimes just making a list of things you need to tackle helps with productivity. Keeping an aspect of organisation somewhere in the chaos will ensure you can manage all the often-mundane things you need to do now you are a ‘real’ adult.
Try to maintain a skincare regime. This can be sacrificed when you start university, especially if you are sharing bathroom facilities. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just make sure you are at least washing your face and removing the remnants of mascara from the night before. When I’m feeling low, I love to put on a facemask to brighten my mood and skin.
By far the most important aspect of self-care at university though, is looking after your mental health. Freshers week is overwhelming. Returning to university still in the midst of a pandemic, is difficult. Keep in touch with family and friends. Sometimes the best mood lifter is a Facetime call home. Take time to have rest days and sleep because you can only run on pot noodles and strong coffee for so long! And it is imperative to reach out if you are struggling, acknowledging you need a little help is crucial to maintaining a good mental state. Above all, self-care is named so for a reason, it is all about what works for YOU. If curling up watching Netflix for the whole day is effective or running 10k is more up your self-care street, embrace what helps you to feel good.
Header Image Credit: By The Warrior