Between classes, clubs, work, and homework, having time for yourself can seem nearly impossible. How can you make time for self-care when you hardly have time for dinner? Worry not! Here are some recommendations on how to squeeze in some self-care even on your busiest of days.
1. Plan your self-care time
One of the major reasons self-care can be difficult when you’re busy is that you don’t know how to fit it into your schedule. Senior medical laboratory science student, Lyndsey Buren, adds her self-care directly to her calendar. “When I have a busy week ahead of me, I try to schedule in time for myself. I like to schedule in time to relax and watch Netflix, catch up with friends, or anything else I want to do,” she explained. “I recommend using Google Calendar since you can easily change your schedule as needed and you can color code your self-care time!” By designating a specific time for self-care, you are making yourself a priority.
2. Wash your face
Although you may not view it as self-care, cleansing your face takes under a minute and can serve as a great start and end to your day. By getting rid of excess oil and debris on your skin, you are not only caring for yourself in the moment with a quick refresh, but you are also taking care of yourself in the long run by staving off acne, skin irritation, and even sickness, according to the CDC.
3. Move your body
If you’re spending most of your day sitting in class, studying, or working in an office, there’s a good chance you’re not moving around all that much. However, the University of Colorado Boulder found that moving your body is a great way to break up your day and relieve stress. Any
form of movement—even as small as standing up and stretching—releases endorphins, which are responsible for improving mood.
Junior English and elementary education student, Jillian Bodiford, expressed, “I always try to fit in some type of movement! Whether it is going to the gym, taking a walk outside, or even just walking instead of driving to class, it always automatically makes me feel better.”
Don’t have time for a walk or a workout? Try doing a lap around your study space every hour or pacing while you review notes.
4. Treat yourself
Need a pick me up in the middle of a long week? Take a few minutes to grab yourself a little treat, whether it’s taking a study break to grab a coffee or buying a muffin on the way to class. This is a quick and easy mood-booster that will give you the motivation to tackle the rest of your day. Bodiford likes to use this as an endcap to her day. “If I’m really crammed on time, which usually happens during the week, I try to treat myself to something, like a Parson’s coffee or a sweet treat, at the end of the day!” she said.
5. Self-care multitasking
If you’re still feeling like you don’t have even five minutes to spare for self-care, try taking care of yourself without stopping your work. If you’re reading a book for class, give yourself a neck or shoulder massage with one hand. On your way out the door in the morning, grab a snack to throw in your bag to eat while you study to prevent headaches. Fidget with a toy, pen, or anything you have on you to reduce stress while doing homework. You can do these simple, one-handed tasks without having to stop what you’re doing, making it the perfect solution for someone with a packed schedule.
Students often overlook their self-care for the sake of their academics, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Show yourself some grace by taking time to care about your mind and body so you can feel good about each day ahead.