Ever feel like there is just no time for yourself? No time for self-care? Schedule is just TOO busy?? I get that!
BUT… we have to make time!
Being a college student is a hectic job in itself. Add on extra curricular activities, sports, jobs, appointments… it’s a lot!! Self-care is crucial for our mental wellbeing. The more we push it off… the more exhausted, overwhelmed, foggy and burnt out we will feel.
I can clearly recall being a full-time student, with classes and appointments to attend, schoolwork piling up, babysitting, interning… I’d ask myself, “When am I supposed to fit in self-care”? For a long time I convinced myself that it was just impossible and could not be done. I told myself to just push through all the mental and emotional exhaustion.
Well, that wasn’t working for me…
I began to find out tips and tricks to squeezing in any bit of self-care into my busy days. And it sure made a difference!! I could feel the pressure of finding time for myself lifting off my shoulders. I felt myself feeling a bit less drained the more I added in time for myself.
Put yourself first. See what a difference it can make. Make time for YOU.
Tips on how to incorporate self-care in a busy schedule:
1. Set a timer. How many times do you say, “I don’t even have a minute”. You’d be surprised how many minutes you actually do have when you break it down! A minute, even five minutes sounds like it would fly by… although you’d be surprised what you can fit in that time! Set a timer on your phone; whether it be 5, 10, 30 minutes. Take that pressure off of thinking how much time has gone by already and be present in that moment!
2. Don’t over schedule yourself! Ever feel like when you are in the groove of a busy schedule you just keep adding more and more onto your plate? Stop that! If it feels like too much, practice saying “no”.
3. Come up with self-care goals. Come up with how much self-care you feel you need and make it a goal to incorporate it. We set goals all the time… for school, weight loss, exercise, finances… add in a goal for self-care!
4. Schedule it! We have our calendars filled with scheduled appointments, classes, etc. Schedule in some self-care! Write it in your planner or mark it in your phone. You wouldn’t miss your courses right? So don’t miss your self-care!
Ideas for self-care (even on a college student budget!) :
1. Exercise! Whether this be going to the gym or going for a walk; exercise is good for the body and mind! Try out a new class (yoga, zumba, cycling, etc.). Go online and look up free classes to do from your room! Get your body moving!
2. Get some fresh air: Take a step outside and breathe in some fresh air. Get some vitamin D from the sun! Go for a short walk or just sit and soak it in.
3. Get a bite to eat: Head to the food court and pick up your favorite smoothie or snack. Let yourself sit and enjoy while you eat rather than inhaling it to run to the next thing scheduled in your day!
4. Watch a show: Our minds are constantly on the go with a busy schedule. Turn on some Netflix, watch a comedy show or your favorite you tube channel and let your mind drift away from your busy life for a bit!
5. Put your phone down! I know this seems like an impossible one nowadays, but try it out! We become so consumed by having our phone in our hands. Ever get so distracted by your phone and realize 30 minutes has gone by? Stop scrolling social media and checking emails… it’ll all be there when you get back!
6. Meditation/Mindfulness: I know this one can be quite difficult for many people (including myself)! But meditation can do wonders if we allow it. Meditating doesn’t have to be sitting with our eyes closed in silence for an hour. Get in whatever position is comfy for you, download a free app and try out a guided meditation for a few minutes. Be present in that moment and focus on keep your thoughts from wandering away.
7. Take a cat nap: Set your alarm and allow yourself to take a quick snooze! Even a 20-minute nap can help us reboot during a busy day.
8. Pamper yourself: Do a fun hairstyle you’ve never tried, paint your nails, do a face mask… make yourself feel nice!
9. De-clutter: Busy schedules can make us feel super overwhelmed and scatterbrained! Try organizing your papers, binders or room. Neaten things up a bit and see how you feel!
10. Meet with a counselor! Whether this be having a therapist in an outside setting, or meeting with the school counselors. Having that time to focus solely on YOU, and to talk about what’s been going on, can be a healthy way to organize our thoughts and feelings.
You got this!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Emma Rosenbloom, MHC is a Mental Health Counselor. She completed her Masters at SUNY New Paltz along with her advanced certificate in trauma and disaster mental health. She specializes in working with teens and young adults struggling with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and interpersonal conflicts. Her approach to therapy includes a combination of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness.