Staying Happy and Healthy: Practicing Self Care as a College Student

By Abby Cloud

It’s already a month into the semester and many students could be experiencing a spring semester slump. This time of the spring semester is difficult for students because not only are they dealing with the first big assignments, exams, and due dates around this time, but they are also coming to the realization that their next break is over a month away. 

It’s hard to stay motivated with so much going on, but it’s important that your student takes care of themselves—especially when school becomes overwhelming. Students can become easily frazzled or stressed out, resulting in poor mental and physical health.

To get through moments like these, it is key that your student is making sure that they are taking care of themselves in order to be the best student they can be. Here are some things they can do. 

Manage their time. The number one way for a student to cause stress is by neglecting to finish their schoolwork. Putting off that project or test due in a month will sneak up on them quickly, and unless they want the consequences of turning in a mediocre assignment—poor grades—then it is beneficial to just manage their time in order to submit their best work. Not to mention, managing time between classes now can help in the long run when they have to balance their time more as an adult. Practice doing this now and they will see the results.

Eat healthy meals. College students can be notorious for spending their money on fast food and eating out. However, in order to keep their bodies healthy, students need to consume healthy food items—not greasy fast food every night. Encourage your student to make good choices and eat at their dining hall or to cook meals at their apartment. Eating protein, vegetables, fruits, and more will allow students to absorb the nutritious, vitamin-rich foods that are necessary to keep their body healthy.  Not only will their body thank them, but their bank account will too. 

Get a good amount of sleep. Between extracurriculars, classes, a social life, and more, a college student’s last worry is getting the right amount of sleep. But if they find themselves feeling restless, sluggish, and tired all the time, ensuring they create a fixed sleep schedule will improve their energy and health. While it’s difficult to imagine sleeping as something detrimental to their well-being, getting a good night’s rest will do wonders.

Spend less time on technology. Another way to completely drain yourself is by constantly looking at your phone, computer, and television. Switching between different screens all day long will make students feel tired, create eye strain, and result in headaches for some. Instead of sitting and staring, try encouraging your student to set aside a few minutes each day devoted to being completely technology-free. This could be reading a book, hanging out with their friends, exercising, or something else that fits their interests and hobbies.

Make time for yourself. If your student is consistently finding themselves overwhelmed with school, extracurriculars, work, or other obligations, remind them that it’s okay to make time for themself. It’s not necessarily wise to advise them that they can skip or avoid these responsibilities, but it helps to encourage students to make time for themselves outside of these other engagements. If they that their days are usually consumed with responsibilities and commitments, perhaps they could try to schedule a few minutes devoted to a task or something else that helps them relax at some point during the day.

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