making time for you – and other self care tips


photo: kami rowe

I just started reading “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” by Ottessa Moshfegh, and while it sounds appealing to do nothing but sleep, there is no way that is healthy, mentally or physically. We all practice self care in different ways, but some ways are more effective than others. Here are a few ways to manage stress, set goals and stay productive while also having time for yourself. 

The hardest thing about staying motivated for most people is the weather, and Ohio is really laying it on us right now. While it is hard to find the motivation to go out and get to class while it’s snowing and the sidewalks are icy, the most important thing in productivity is keeping a schedule. Letting yourself skip one class turns into two, and then five, and then never going back because it’s not a part of your new schedule. Going to class does everything from keeping you up to date on information to socializing and just being around people for an hour or so. 

Being in year three of the pandemic is definitely hitting hard too. We went so long with minimal socializing, along with a year or so of entirely remote classes, that we sometimes forget the importance of leaving the house and doing something outside. Whether that be just going to class or meeting someone new, we went so long without those simple joys that we forget how important those are to our mental health. 

photo by kami rowe

Something we don’t spend enough time on is ourselves. We spend so much time worrying about class, work, friends and more that we forget to take care of ourselves. Everyone’s method of self care is different. For some of us, it’s reading; for others, it’s music. Blocking out time each day for you to do something that benefits you is important for your mental health, and therefore makes you a better person in the outside world. 

Many of us use social media as “me time”, and while it is entertaining, it is not the most beneficial. Social media surrounds us with unrealistic expectations, as we all want to put our best selves out for the world to see. Despite the fact that’s what we are doing, we forget others are doing the same thing. We begin to feel guilty about all the things we could be doing that we see our peers or celebrities doing. One of the best things I have ever done is go on a social media break. Deleting even one platform can do wonders. Social media is almost impossible to get away from in this age, but we can control how much we let it influence us, and that is self care in itself.

As far as managing a schedule and keeping up with school and work, we all have methods of scheduling that work best for us. Personally, I like using both Google Calendar and a physical calendar. I write down all my assignments, quizzes and exams on the paper calendar and then block out my classes and meetings on Google. This allows me to know when everything is due, as well as when I have set obligations, that way I can work around everything to get everything in on time. This isn’t going to work for everyone, but I know lots of my friends do similar things. 

photo by kami rowe

Bullet journaling is one popular option a lot of people use. It allows you to write down your schedule, meetings and assignments while also functioning as a place to track other things such as spending, sleep and screen time. People love being able to personalize their journals to fit their needs, as opposed to a store-bought planner. An online version similar to the bullet journal is Notion. It also allows you to customize your page and track assignments, but without using paper or having to hand write everything. It also keeps everything in one place on your computer. Having a method of keeping track of everything in your busy life is integral, especially to students, as seeing when your free time is will make life a lot easier. 

As this semester goes forward and you continue through college and life, you will find what works for you, whether that be in scheduling, self care or just getting to class every day. Every little bit you discover and act on is an accomplishment in itself. Having a routine in life keeps things organized, and knowing when you have free time allows for you to change that busy routine. Self care is making time for things that you want to do! So go out there and start whatever you’ve been thinking about recently – the world is ready for you.

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