The transition from high school to college can be stressful. At Post University, we know it is important to take good care of yourself. These self-care tips for college students can make a huge difference in how you feel and in how well you perform throughout your college career.
Self-Care Tips for College Students to Improve Mental and Physical Health
No matter the challenges you may go through as a student, it is vitally important to take care of yourself. Tapping into your school’s mental health resources is a good first course of action. But learning how to take care of yourself in the meantime can go far to minimize the impact of common mental health issues, including those surrounding depression or anxiety.
1. Take Time for Self-Care
It is easy to become overwhelmed when you are trying to balance good grades with an active social life, sports, and a job. Whether you are dealing with all these distractions or merely a few, you must still find time to take care of yourself. This means making time to eat, sleep, study, and relax.
2. Stick to a Schedule
There is much to be said for having a daily routine. And while it is fine to stray from your routine on occasion, having a steady schedule lets you know where you need to go and what you need to do every day. This helps eliminate the stress of unexpected occurrences. Make sure to use a calendar or a planner to log important tasks.
3. Adopt a Workout Routine
Regular exercise is great for your body, but did you know it is good for your mind, too? The benefits of exercise on your mental health are well-proven. Exercise boosts your mood and increases your energy. It also triggers the release of endorphins that make you feel good.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
Lots of healthy food such as fresh greens, berries, seeds, nuts, and legumes will give you lots of energy to get through your day. Eating healthy portions of foods rich in good things like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protein is a great way to boost both your mood and your performance.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting enough hours of sleep every night is important, but so is getting uninterrupted sleep. If you are up and down throughout the night, you may find yourself troubled with daytime sleepiness, low energy, and increased levels of stress. To make the most of bedtime, try adopting a wind-down routine that stays the same every night. Turn off your screens, take a warm bath or shower, and change into designated night clothes before attempting to sleep.
6. Establish a Workstation to Study
Having a designated place to study can help your mind and your body prepare itself for more efficient study habits. Choose a space that’s quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions such as the television or loud traffic. Make sure the lighting is adequate and that your chair is comfortable but not so cozy that you find yourself snoozing instead of studying.
7. Learn How to Deal with Stress
Organizing your time well and keeping to a routine can help reduce stress levels, but when you need a little extra help, have a few techniques tucked away that work well for you. These might include engaging in meditation or mindfulness, taking a long bubble bath, or doing an activity such as yoga.
8. Spend Time with Your Support System
Everyone needs a supportive network of friends or family to cheer them on. When you’re feeling stressed or out-of-sorts, spend some time with those who inspire and understand you.
9. Make Physical Activity Fun
At Post University, physical health for students is always a priority. Consider joining a virtual walk, a local 5K walk or run, or an exercise class to inject a little fun into your daily workout routine. You might even clear a space in the middle of your dorm room, crank up the music, and engage in a little free-form movement.
10. Set Realistic Goals
Avoid holding yourself to unrealistic standards. Instead, aim for small improvements that take place over time. Whether you’re trying to raise your GPA, lose weight, or make more friends, small steps will eventually take you further than giant, unsustainable leaps.
11. Get Outside
There is nothing like nature to lower stress levels. Make time to get outside when the weather is nice. Play some volleyball on the beach with friends, take a hike on a nature trail, or sip your mocha-latte at an outdoor table with a pal.
12. Stop Trying to Please Everyone
Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of only one person — yourself. So stop changing yourself to control what others say, do, think, or feel. Accept that not everyone is going to be your bestie and that it is okay to have one or two close friends instead of the whole student body.
13. Drink Plenty of Water
Hydration is not overrated. Drinking enough fluids can help you avoid fatigue, headache, and a host of other issues. So, be sure to drink enough water daily. You will ache less, and you will have more energy, too.
14. Embrace the Power of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the art of living in the moment. If you are someone who tends to live in the past or dread the future, mindfulness training may help immensely. Sign up for an online or in-person class to help you focus on what is happening in the here and now.
15. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol feels good in the moment, but it wreaks havoc in the long term. Avoid non-prescription drugs altogether. And avoid using alcohol as a way to de-stress or as a frequent reward.
16. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
It is okay to need help. What is not okay is to need help and not ask for it. Use your school’s mental health resources to find the assistance you need, and reach out before your issue becomes a crisis.
At Post University, we are concerned about our student body, and we want to help you succeed in your college education without unnecessary stress and anxiety. We hope these mental health tips for students help. Contact Post University today for more information on admissions, programs of study, and degree options.
Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!