Self Care 101

Hello hello lovely Jumbos!

As midterm season is well and truly upon us, it is super easy to get wrapped up in the seemingly endless litany of tests, papers, and those dreaded oral presentations.  And while these things are all important, and it is indeed important to work hard in school, you know what’s even more important? Your mental health. Let me repeat that, for those of you like me who forget it all too often: your mental health is more important than your grades.  Below is a list of ways to take care of yourself and remain healthy and sane through the busy semester.

1. Have you had something to eat or drink recently? No? Then take the time to eat a quick snack and drink some water – it’s super duper important that you stay full and hydrated.

2. Have you moved around in a while? If not, take a minute to stand up, raise your arms up above your head, and give yourself a good old stretch – think of a cat who has just woken up from a nap.  Sitting still for too long isn’t good for you, and just taking 30 seconds to stretch, or maybe walk around the room, can make all the difference.

3. Take a study break and crank up your favorite song.  Something upbeat and happy is always good, but hey, if you love slow songs, you jam out to that too.

4. Take a hot bath/shower.  Do you have a scented candle, bath salts, or new shower gel you’ve been waiting to use? Go all out, treat yo’ self.

5. Go for a walk/jog/run, whatever speed you’re feeling today, it doesn’t matter.  Take a minute to take a few deep breaths of fresh (and now cool) air and soak up a little sunshine.

6.  Eat something you really like – doesn’t matter what it is, breakfast for dinner, ice cream for lunch, who cares? You’ve earned it.

7. Laugh.  Nothing is better when you’re feeling a little stressed than a good, deep, belly laugh.  Get together with some people who make you laugh, or watch a funny Youtube or a show on Netflix (I’m loving Psych right now.)

8. Pet an animal.  I’m pretty sure the key to happiness and like, the whole universe, lies in petting cats and dogs (or bunnies or gerbils, really anything.)

9. Meditate.  Whether this is something you already do regularly, or something you think is a little hokey, taking even just a few minutes to close your eyes, take deep breaths, and focus on de-stressing can be wicked helpful when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed.

10. Compliment yourself.  You are kind, you are smart, you are important.  You are a god/goddess, you are a force of nature.  You are enough.   Don’t ever forget that.

“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on Earth to offer to others.” — Parker Palmer

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