Over the Christmas holidays, whilst procrastinating from my dissertation research, I decided to listen to some TED talks in the hope of finding some inspiration from somewhere. I found myself listening to a talk by Guy Winch entitled ‘why we all need to practice emotional first aid’. This talk encouraged me to think about the way in which I take care of my psychological health at university. Amidst the stress of exams, assignments and being away from home, it is easy to forget to take time for self-care. In his talk, Guy Winch talked about the importance of closing the gap between physical and psychological health. Psychological health is commonly seen as less important than physical health. However, our mental health is just as crucial as physical health. In this post, I will share some of my favourite tips for self-care at university.
An important element of self-care for me is exercise. Not only is it good for your physical health but also for your emotional health. For me, taking time to go to the gym or go for a run gives me time for my brain to switch off from university work and relax. I always ensure that I schedule time into my week in order to allow myself time to exercise.
Following on from exercise, I have recently started yoga. As a beginner, I am still reliant on apps and books in order to learn about yoga poses and routines. I particularly recommend the ‘yoga studio’ app which offers routines based on what you want to gain from your yoga session; whether it be improved flexibility or simply relaxation. I find that yoga helps me to switch off at the end of the day and enable me to go to bed earlier.
Making time to pursue your hobbies and spend time with friends and family are also important elements of self-care for me. I particularly enjoy reading so I ensure that I put aside time each day to read for pleasure (no history books in sight!) In addition, it is important for me to make sure that I am not ‘too busy’ to socialise. Spending time with friends and family is a great way to relax and unwind.