Being in the midst of the holiday season is stressful enough and that stress can magnify if you’re a student cramming for final projects and exams. When we feel overwhelmed it can be easy to neglect our own well-being and burn out as a result. Improving selfcare skills can help students manage when their just trying to survive the December hurdles.
- Don’t put off sleep! You will be more effective if you’re well rested. Set a specific time to go to bed even if you haven’t progressed in your work as much as you would’ve liked. Getting a refreshing night’s rest will help you be in a better mood, feel calmer, and it’ll strengthen your memory – it’s what you need to retain what you just studied.
- Go for nourishing food rather than binging on caffeine and sugars. And make sure you eat at regular times to maintain your endurance. It’s totally okay to drink a little coffee to wake up, and to treat yourself to a holiday cookie but consuming large quantities of caffeine and processed sugars can increase your body’s stress and anxiety.
- Plan ahead. Make a list of all the assignments and exams you have and make sure to note their due dates. Making a plan can help keep you from procrastinating until the last minute or from pulling all-nighters. Making a battle plan can make you feel a little less overwhelmed and give you a direction on where to start working.
- Include fun activities and breaks in your schedule! Make time to have see a friend on a night you can get away from homework. If you can’t find enough time between studying and holiday obligations, schedule things as simple as calling a loved one, meditating, or taking a 20 minute break every 2 hours of studying just to listen to music. Do whatever you can that makes you feel refreshed and happy.
- Drink plenty of water. This is a basic survival skill that has to be utilized every day. If you have to, set a reminder to drink a glass of water every couple of hours.
- Move! If you normally run for an hour the morning, try to keep as much of that routine as possible. Even if it’s minimized to as little as a 15 minute run. Make that you regularly get up away from those books or that screen and stretch.
- Get away for a little while. Go for a walk to look at lights or snowy landscapes. Watch your favorite holiday movie – the one that makes you roar with laughter or cry your eyes out. Make cards or cookies and give them out. Just because your busy doesn’t mean you should miss out on enjoying the season! (Also know it’s completely okay to say no to events and activities you don’t have time for or are not really feeling up to go to. Do what’s best for you!)
- Don’t forget to utilize the wellness center on campus. Every campus should have one accessible to students, it’s just a matter of looking or asking. SLCC definitely has a Center for Health and Counseling.
- Treat your self! If you’re feeling stressed take a break and show yourself some love, have a mug full of hot chocolate or tea, take a long hot shower or bath, do whatever makes you feel well-cared for.
Good luck and take care!