November 11, 2017, by Shweta
Self-Care Saturday: Taking Care Of Yourself At University
Hey guys! Guess who’s back and ready to talk to you all about the most underrated aspect of university life: self-care?
After spending years as an over-achiever and perfectionist, it was natural for me to want to be the best version of myself at university. However, it became way too easy to mistake being the best version of myself with being the busiest version of myself. Before I knew it, I was holding down too many jobs, working with too many organisations and behind on most of my modules. I’ve often heard those around me talk about how I appear to have “[my] life sorted” because I’m often juggling various things. To be fully honest, though, as much as I enjoy being involved at university, it is exhausting and by the end of the day, I’m usually tired, ‘hangry’, stressed and unsatisfied. Learning from your own – and others – mistakes is an important part of growing up and so here I am to share a few tips based on my own experiences.
- Learn to say no. As you progress through university, there will be so many opportunities thrown your way. Now, I don’t condone saying no to all of them but learn to recognize when things are piling up. Don’t take on more than you can handle and always remember that doing a few things to the best of your ability is more important than doing many things without giving any your 100%.
- Take time to be alone. Spending time alone is often stigmatized. Unlike in school, university is an environment in which you’re constantly surrounded by friends and colleagues. While meeting new people, and tackling such a fast-paced environment is fun, make sure you schedule some time off every now and then to re-charge. Being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. It’s a great way to learn more about yourself, become more independent and clear your head when things get tough.
- Make ‘to-do’ lists. Now I don’t know about you but I love lists. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a scheduling kind of girl and placing time commitments for myself just doesn’t work. Instead, I rely on to-do lists that work on a 24-hour cycle wherein I try to finish all the work I’ve set out to do during the day. Find a scheduling plan that works for you, be it time based or not, and rely on it to be productive but not over-worked.
- It’s okay to be unproductive. I know I probably sound quite hypocritical right now but for the sake of your mental health and relationships, take some time off every now and then. I often find myself always itching to do something and that’s quite an unrealistic expectation. Over the past year, I’ve learned to forgive myself for the odd weekends where I lay in bed and watch Netflix all day. You should too. There’s no harm in taking some time off to detox and just exist.
That’s all for now but I do hope that you’ve all learnt a bit or two about self-care. And always remember, no amount of success is worth your health (physical or mental).
Until next time,
You are absolutely right. Health is number one priority, both mental & physical. Invest in good health & everything else will follow!
I often blame myself for being unproductive. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to do anything and I need a day off to reboot. But my brain, though it needs rest, is stressed out about it. And it turns out that even if I don’t do anything and rest, I can’t feel it.
It’s hard to convince yourself. But I know it’s important.
Thank you for your advice! I agree that taking care of mental health is very important. It may not seem serious, but these problems can accumulate and lead to negative consequences that are difficult to eliminate.