The school year is officially in full swing and though it can be exciting to return to campus, there are sure to be moments where we feel overwhelmed. From tedious daily textbook reading to constant team meetings for projects and clubs, the student grind is real. When we're giving it our all for that 4.0, it's easy to forget to leave some time for ourselves to unwind. In celebration of a new school year and Self-Care Awareness month, here are five ways to destress during the academic year.
1. Organize Your Room
Okay, maybe this doesn't sound like the most interesting activity to do. But it's definitely a great way to practice mindfulness. You'll also find relief when your environment is organized so you can focus on your homework rather than getting distracted by clutter. Cleaning up your room can actually be fun as well. Turn up the music and hang up some motivational quotes to create a space you can retreat to after a long day.
2. Hit the Gym
What better way to get into self-care then staying active to increase your energy levels and feel healthy? When the stress from school is really kicking in, run it off on the treadmill, knock it off on a punching bag, or sweat it out by doing planks. Yoga is also a great option, especially when paired with meditation and breathing exercises. Feel free to bring a friend along to destress together!
3. Take a Walk
Free yourself from the views of the classroom and library by going out for a walk—it's always relieving to get a breath of fresh air and studies have shown that going for a walk can re-stimulate your creative flow. You don't have to go out of your way to do a nature walk, any change of surroundings would do. Instead of have your headphones on, use the time to peacefully reflect and enjoy what's around you. Maybe you'll discover a new café during your walk!
4. Attend School Events
With all the different student clubs at your school, there's probably several club events coming up that might interest you. From game night to fundraising for the student government or a dance showcase by several dance groups on campus, keep an eye out for fun events to get your mind off the textbooks. You could meet some cool people or even join a new club.
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An important thing to remember about self-care is that it's not the same as self-indulgence. Self-care goes beyond scented candles and bath bombs (although in the right moments we love those too). It's about recharging and keeping your mental health in check, which volunteering can help with. By spending time connecting with others and giving back, you're building your own self-awareness and maybe even finding a sense of purpose. Volunteer activities such as tree-planting and helping at animal shelters are fun escapes from schoolwork, and are also solid ways to give back to your community.
What self-care activities do you engage in during the school year? Let us know in the comments!