This post is all about self care activities for students.
This is your sign to take a break from the studying and homework. Even though you’re a full-time student, you are allowed to take time off from schoolwork and focus on yourself.
You absolutely should prepare for your tests and assignments, but you can’t do that to the best of your abilities without taking time out of your schedule to practice self care activities.
Here are the best self care activities for students who need to prioritize themselves so they can be their best selves as students, friends, and people.
This post is all about self care activities for students.
SELF CARE ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENTS:
1. Take a walk or go for a run outdoors.
Call up a loved one and go for a twenty-minute walk outside. Or get your coworker to have that conversation with you while you walk around the block a few times. Leave class and walk around for half an hour before you go to the library or back to your dorm.
Find small segments of time in your day when you can incorporate small spurts of movement because it will give you time to reset, rest, and possibly get some fresh air.
Not only has movement been proven to improve your mood, but you’ll be giving yourself a change of scenery (even if you go to the campus gym). So, you can stop staring at the same classrooms all day.
2. Practice deep breathing or meditation for a few minutes.
Get lost on your campus and find a peaceful area with a bunch of trees or plants that will give you five minutes to practice deep breathing. You can also go back to your dorm, but, sometimes, the only time you get any peace is by changing up your surroundings.
Place a hand on your stomach and breathe in until you feel your diaphragm fill up with air. Then, hold for a few seconds and release slowly. While you do this, notice what kind of thoughts pop up.
Let them pass without shaming them or getting too carried away. If you notice you’re getting distracted, bring yourself back to the physical sensation of breathing deeply.
3. Write in a journal to express your thoughts and feelings.
Get yourself a journal or open up your Notes app. Start writing. If it helps, set a timer for ten minutes and do not stop writing until the timer has gone off.
Journaling has a ton of benefits, including teaching how to be kind to yourself. First of all, no one will read this journal (and if you’re concerned someone will, lock it or keep it with you). So, write whatever you want and let you brain flow.
Second of all, if you’re stuck, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay to pause, but, when you do, remind yourself this is for you and you are not going to judge yourself for writing about anything and everything when you look back on this. Just keep writing.
4. Treat yourself to a relaxing bath or shower.
You may not have access to a bathtub, but you definitely have access to a shower. So, place a shower steamer on the edge of your shower cubicle and let the water run over it to get a nice, relaxing aroma.
There’s something that can be so relaxing about a warm shower and calming aromas while you take the time to refresh your body.
No matter how busy you are, you need to shower. No matter how much of a chore it feels like to get up, take your stuff to the shower, change, and get back to your room, it’s worth it.
5. Engage in a hobby or creative activity you enjoy.
While you may not have access to the same tools you have at home, you can still go out and get stuff to tie-dye a shirt. Or you can pull out your computer and write a poem. Maybe you’ll even host a crafting party for your friends.
Think about the hobbies that have brought you joy before and find ways to revisit them. Take the time to feel like a person instead of only a student so you can avoid burnout.
6. Disconnect from technology for a set period of time.
Choose a time of the day or week when you’ll take a step back from technology. This means staying off social media, closing your laptop, and keeping away from shows and movies.
You can listen to music or podcasts, but keep technology to a minimum. The goal of this self care activity is to get away from the negative influences of social media while also creating clear boundaries around your time to take a break from school work.
You could even plan an activity to do outside of your home like go on a walk, meet up with a friend, or journal.
7. Listen to calming music or create a playlist of your favorite songs.
Pull out the perfect playlist filled with the music that makes you get up and dance every time (or make one). Or you can find a calming music playlist by searching it in Spotify and choosing the one that vibes with you.
Go for a walk or settle in and get comfortable with a warm drink and cozy blanket. Set yourself up for joy and make this moment special for yourself to optimize the self care of it all.
8. Read a book for pleasure or listen to an audiobook.
Pro-tip: get free audiobooks from Libby, which is a library app that loans you eBooks and audiobooks completely free and all you need is a library card (which is super easy!).
However you enjoy your books, get the latest one out and dial into it. Set up a time when you won’t be bothered and collect all of the stuff that makes you feel cozy. Maybe you’ll get some tea, a blanket, and your comfiest chair.
9. Practice yoga or stretching exercises to relax your body and mind.
You don’t need a fancy yoga mat or candles or even a class to attend to practice yoga. All it takes is a Youtube video walking you through the exercises and carpet to keep your knees and toes from hurting.
Yoga is another way to meditate by focusing on your breathing, moving your body, and noticing your thoughts as they enter and leave your mind.
10. Have a movie or TV show marathon and enjoy some downtime.
Give yourself the gift of catching up on your favorite show or a new movie. You can enjoy as much as binge-watching as you want, as long as it’s not the only form of self care you do.
No coping mechanism is bad on its own. It’s all about making sure that you use a variety of coping mechanisms, and self care is no different. So, let yourself binge a show without making yourself feel guilty for feeling that joy and take a break.
11. Spend quality time with a pet or volunteer at an animal shelter.
Go to your local animal shelter and spend a couple of hours there working with animals and getting animals adopted. A lot of shelters will let you come in and socialize the animals. In other words, you can volunteer to play with dogs and cats.
Even though you may feel like volunteering doesn’t fit into your schedule and is in no way a source of self care, you may realize how fulfilled you’ll feel once you dedicate your time to something outside of work and school.
12. Cook or bake a delicious meal for yourself.
Cooking and baking take on a whole new meaning when you’re in a new space and don’t have access to the stuff you’re used to using. Like, if you’re in a dorm, you may not have any access to a kitchen and no way of cooking.
In this case, as much as it sucks sometimes not to make yourself the exact kind of meal you really love, you can treat yourself to your favorite meal from a restaurant near you.
But, if you can make yourself food, make it an all-out date. Go the grocery store and get ingredients for your favorite recipe then go home and make it! Play some music and work with it until it tastes just right.
13. Take a power nap to recharge and rejuvenate.
Set a timer for twenty minutes and let yourself rest. Keeping your nap between twenty and thirty minutes is the best way to rejuvenate yourself without waking up even more tired.
Sometimes, you just need to give yourself some time to sleep to get through that last-minute, stressful study session. When you’re struggling, give your body and mind what they need to help be the best student you can be.
14. Explore nature by going for a hike or spending time in a park.
Get out of your living space and go for a walk in a park or green area. Even better, if you like beautiful views and getting active, go for a hike.
This is great chance to hang out with some friends and practice self care together. But, whether you invite a friend or not, you can still enjoy the fresh air, people-watching, and beautiful landscape around you at the park or on a hike.
15. Have a virtual hangout with friends or family members.
Organize a hangout with the people you care about. Send out a time to get on and a Zoom link or start the call. This is great opportunity to see the faces of people you’d otherwise have no time to talk to.
Set aside two hours for this and let the conversation unfold. You could even plan to eat a meal together, play an online game, or have a virtual happy hour (with cocktails or mocktails).
16. Engage in a mindful coloring activity or solve puzzles.
Grab a piece of paper or your tablet and start drawing. You can listen to music while you color and even find a coloring book online to focus your energy.
Install a Sudoku app or play online Solitaire. The goal is to get you out of your head and into a fun, challenging activity that leaves you feeling refreshed and entertained.
You can use technology or just doodle long, curvy lines on a piece of paper and color in the shapes you happen to make.
17. Create a self-care kit with items that bring you comfort.
If you want to try a self care activity that will benefit your future self, make yourself a kit with everything you need on one of those not-so-great days. Include your favorite book, some earphones, a scented calendar, and some fuzzy socks.
Brainstorm the stuff that makes you feel right at home and worthy on those days when life is getting to more than usual. Put that stuff in your box, basket, or bag.
18. Practice gratitude by writing down three reasons everyday.
Start journaling about three things you’re grateful for everyday. Get specific about it. Instead of “I’m grateful I did well on that test,” try “I’m grateful that I took the time to study and the work paid off.”
Keep it to three reasons you’re thankful and write down reasons that happened that day. No matter what you’re going through, there will be reasons for gratitude. This practice will make it easier to see that the more you do it.
19. Get a good night’s sleep and establish a consistent sleep schedule
Show yourself that you value your sleep time. A lot of college students let this be the thing they choose to sacrifice when they’re choosing between their academics and social life. It’s normal, but it’s not good for you.
Once you prioritize sleep and keep that in your schedule at all costs, you’ll realize how much better you can show up for your life, your friends, and your classes.