How self-care can get you through a tough semester

June 21, 2016
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It’s getting towards the end of exams and you’re probably feeling the pressure from all sides. Every day is a constant cycle of sleep, study, eat, repeat, counting down to the time when this will all be over.

Thankfully, there are people who have come up with positive things you can do for yourself, even when you are managing a busy study and exam schedule.

What is this magical thing I’m talking about? Well, it’s called self-care, which is even more important to do when your life is at its most hectic.

To perform self-care is to literally take care of yourself and your own health, whether it is your physical, mental, or emotional wellbeing.

Keep in mind though, self-care doesn’t mean breathing exercises instead of seeking professional help if you’re feeling incredibly anxious. While this might help, it shouldn’t be your own resource.

For me, self-care is making sure that stressful situations don’t becoming overwhelming and debilitating. It’s sort of like preserving yourself and keeping yourself in tact, so that you can handle whatever is coming your way.

I make sure I perform a self-care activity every day. While my self-care is about taking care of my mental health and doing something creative, this is what works for me. For others, it could be something completely different. It’s about whatever feels good for you.

Sounds simple, but I can hear you saying that you have absolutely no time for this. But think about it for a second; sure, you do need to devote the majority of your time to studying, but you need to realise that YOU are the one studying and you need to be feeling OK in order to continue studying.

Let’s challenge the notion that self-care takes up too much time by looking at some easy things you can do to self-care:

Exercise every day

It doesn’t have to be a two-hour long gym sesh; you might only have the time for ten sit-ups, ten push-ups, and ten lunges. Start with that, and see if you can add one of each every day.

Meditate

Try to meditate, practice mindfulness, or stretch. This brings you back to the present moment and often takes only a few minutes out of your day.

Cook a meal that you really love

This doesn’t have to break the bank either. It can be a great way to get the nutrition you need and to reward yourself by chowing down on a fav meal.

Make a call to a loved one

While we may spend hours a day texting, think about what it would be like to actually chat to your Mum, or your partner or bestie.Don't worry if you have to put a time limit on it, because you'll be more likely to make that time count.

Try something new every day

Whether it is a new fruit, a new band on Spotify, or a new self-care activity that you haven’t yet tried. This will keep you prepared and energised for whatever comes your way!

Bridget Conway

Bridget is a poet, writer, editor and critic currently residing in Sydney. She loves her cats, Star Trek, writing about mental health, and cooking vegetarian food. Check out her daily musings on her blog

Image: Demi Brooke, Flickr Creative Commons license

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