SELF CARE IDEAS FOR STUDENTS: OPTIONS YOU CAN ADD TO YOUR ROUTINE RIGHT NOW
Self-care ideas have been a major focus in recent years with the rise of mental health advocacy in our society. But how many times have you clicked on a list of self-care tips and found that none really appeal to you, or they’re all the same?
While the concept of self-care has had a rising focus, many people don’t realize what it really means. As a result, many people don’t prioritize it because we don’t always see options or ideas that fit into our lifestyles. However, as a student, it’s essential that you learn how to create your own self-care routine because it will help you with studying, focusing, and getting through your academic career successfully.
There are over 6 billion people in the world, and one simple list of self-care ideas isn’t a one-size-fits all solution that works for every individual human being on the planet. That’s why we’ve given you 250 different options in this list that will fit in with a variety of different lifestyles, personalities, and time frames.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE
Self-care has become something of a buzzword in recent years, especially with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people are under the assumption that self-care means giving yourself a bubble bath or a face mask because this is what we see when we hear those words. However, that’s not entirely the point.
The truth is that self-care encompasses a variety of factors that work together to help you care for yourself. This includes things like lifestyle factors, socialization, mental wellness, disease prevention, and physical health – to name just a few things. Therefore, self-care can be as basic as tending to your personal hygiene by taking a shower or eating dinner.
True self-care is about emotional, mental, physical, and social fulfillment. You need all of these things in order to keep up with your personal wellbeing.
SELF-CARE VS. DESTRESSING
Of course, stress does play a prominent role in your mental health and wellbeing. De-stressing, therefore, is a part of any self-care routine, but it goes beyond that.
De-stressing means removing the things in your life that are causing you anxiety and stress. That may mean putting your feet up after a busy day at work or taking a nice long hot shower after a sweaty workout. It also means figuring out ways to cope with how you handle that stress, while self-care is a little more broad.
In contrast, self-care is doing things that you enjoy to add enrichment and fulfillment to your life. It’s much broader in scope and includes many different factors that you may not even necessarily be able to feel right away.
THE STUDENTS’ TAKE: MENTAL HEALTH AND STUDENT LIFE
As a student, you probably feel like you’re under a lot of stress and pressure; that’s because you are. Campus depression and anxietyi s very real for college and university students around the world, and is something that many students have difficulty managing.
The Canadian National College Health Assessment from 2016 found some shocking observations: in the 12 months before the study, 60.6% of Canadian college and university students reported feeling overwhelmed with stress, 64.5% said they had overwhelming anxiety, and 44.4% said they had severe depression.
All of this data was collected well before the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw mental health issues skyrocket even more. A study from the United States found that 71% of post-secondary students were suffering from increased anxiety due to the pandemic and 82% said that they were concerned about their academic performance.
SELF-CARE IDEAS FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
Since everyone is different and the point of taking care of yourself is doing things you personally enjoy for different aspects of your health, we’re going to break down these self-care ideas by category (mind, body, heart, and soul). We’ve put together a master list of 250 different ideas, so you’re guaranteed to find at least a few things that work for you.
Many of the ideas in these lists below can be done socially in person or virtually. Depending on how your local community is coping with COVID-19, or even if you’re reading this list long after the pandemic is over, you can still modify any of these options to suit safe local guidelines. Self-care never stops, regardless of whether COVID-19 does.