Keeping up with your mental and physical health while you’re in college can make a huge difference in how you deal with stress as a busy student. It’s no secret that things can be stressful during your college years, but with the right stress management techniques and self-care ideas, you’ll be able to navigate those difficult times in a healthy way. We’ve put together some self-care ideas and strategies for college students to get through the semester with ease.
5 Self-Care Ideas for College Students
1. Get a Daily Serving of Fruits and Vegetables
Eating your daily serving of fruits and vegetables is easier said than done, especially when you’re a college student. When you live in the dorms and are on a meal plan, it can be difficult to get those servings. And even if you have your own cooking space, finding the time to learn how to cook, and actually enjoy what you’re eating, can feel exhausting. So what’s the solution? Well, the daily serving size for fruits is about two cups, and for vegetables about two and a half cups.
By planning out your meals in advance, you can see where you’ll be getting your fruits and vegetables so you can gauge if you’ve had enough. One convenient way of getting your daily servings is by making smoothies. You can easily use two cups of fruit in a smoothie and even add spinach or kale inside for more nutrients. Trust us, you won’t even tell the difference in taste.
To get in your servings of veggies, find a few vegetables that you really like and focus on including them in your meals throughout the day. You can have cucumbers, peppers, and carrots with hummus or other dips for a quick and convenient snack. You can also air-fry your veggies as a healthy side dish for dinner! It is super important to get these nutrients in your body to help with your overall health.
If you can’t meet the daily intake every day, it’s okay. A lot of supplement companies make greens and fruit powders that help you fill that gap and help you reach your health goals. When you are taking care of your body, your mental health often follows suit.
2. Move Your Body a Few Times a Week
Exercise has many benefits! Working out at your local gym is important, but it’s not the only way to get exercise. Taking a long stroll around campus, or at your local park, is a great way to get fresh air and get your heart pumping. When you’re stressed about your college courses, your body can hold onto that stress. So, by exercising you can release a lot of stress and keep your body healthy. There are so many ways to get a workout in and it doesn’t have to be at the gym. Maybe try something like rollerblading, skating, biking, and outdoor yoga! If you do prefer the gym, your college campus may have one that’s available for students to use for free.
At the gym, you can even find clubs and teams to be part of. Maybe sign up for weekly volleyball, basketball, or pickleball to meet new friends and get active. An active lifestyle is healthy for both your mind and body, something that college students should work towards during their time at school. This is one of our favorite ways for students to reduce stress because there are so many different options to try!
3. Call Your Loved Ones
Hearing a familiar voice can bring a sense of comfort, even to the most stressed-out college students. Even if it is only once every week or two, you can set up a time to call or video chat with your family or friends from home. It will be nice to see their faces and hear what’s going on back home while you’re in college.
We’ve even seen some students have a virtual dinner with their families every few weeks so it feels like they’re having dinner at home. You can also set up a virtual ice cream or coffee date with a friend that isn’t at college with you! Talk about school, stuff from home, and life in general. After conversations with familiar people, you may feel lighter and more comforted.
4. See a Therapist or Counselor
Mental illness is taking a huge toll on students, especially if they don’t know how to deal with college stress while navigating life as young adults. To combat this, most college campuses offer free therapy or counseling while you’re enrolled in their college. Talking to a professional about your mental health and other things in your life can make a difference. Someone who doesn’t know about your life and can listen and respond from a professional view is super important. That way, you don’t have to always put that mental load on your friends and family. Of course, your family and friends are there for you when you need to talk, but a designated person who isn’t biased will be beneficial for you and everyone in your life.
5. Do Something Fun and/or Relaxing
Self-care looks different for everyone. Sometimes you want to get your hair or nails done, other times you want to spend a few hours on the golf course and not think about anything. No matter what your version of fun and relaxing is, practice some self-care habits. With your busy college schedule, it’s still possible to pick a day every few weeks to have a school-free day with your friends, see a movie, relax at the beach, or wind down at home with a bubble bath. A relaxing mental health day will do wonders for your overall wellness as a stressed college student.
Self-care comes first
Your mental wellness is important to keep healthy as a young adult. Academic success will follow suit when you start taking care of your physical and mental health. Practice mindfulness and follow these self-care ideas for college students to keep your stress levels low and relieve some academic pressure!