Just like that, the spring semester is coming to a close. The end of the semester means summertime and relaxation are just around the corner; however, ask any college student, and they’ll tell you this is the most stressful time of the year.
When stress levels start running high, most forget the importance of self-care; healthy eating habits go out the window, and sleep schedules get derailed. If you’re a college student like me, you know exactly what I am talking about. You can’t be a good student/ employee/ etc. if you don’t practice good self-care, so here are my top tips to ensuring you stay mentally and physically on top of a stressful week.
Have a Routine
My freshman year of college I was so caught up in spending time with friends after classes, I forgot how important it was to have a solid routine. There were so many times when I was awake until after midnight, and then up a few hours later for my 8 a.m. lecture. I quickly realized this wasn’t the best structure for me to have both a healthy mental state and successful academic performance. Now that I am living in an apartment, it is a lot easier to keep up with my routine.
I have lecture Monday through Friday at 9:05 or 9:30, so every morning I wake up at 7:15, make my coffee and breakfast and then catch up on emails and social media before getting caught up in the craziness of the day. Likewise, I try to be in bed by 10:30 p.m. every night. I know if you’re a night owl this may not be feasible, but I am definitely a morning person and am NOT pleasant if I don’t get my sleep.
Having a routine has really ensured that I put my needs first. If it is getting late and I’m exhausted, I go to bed, regardless if I’ve finished all my work. This may sound like a slacker attitude to some, but at the end of the day, if I’m exhausted I know I won’t get any productive studying done.
The first thing to go out the window when I’m busy is homecooked meals. Virginia Tech makes it way too convenient to have a meal plan and want to eat on campus 24/7. I know that unless I meal prep over the weekend, I’ll end up at Chick-fil-a for every meal. (UGH their fries are just too good!)
My favorite recipes:
Tomato & Cucumber Quinoa Salad — This is my favorite summer quinoa recipe. For extra protein, I’ll buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it.
Best Damn Chili — I made this chili for the Superbowl and it was SO good. Don’t let the long list of ingredients deter you, it is such an easy recipe to make on Sunday night and eat on all week.
Classic Minestrone Soup — Minestrone is my go-to meal in the winter time. I’ve never really followed a recipe, but I always put in some form of noodles or rice, beans, diced tomatoes, greens, onions, carrots, chicken broth and top with parmesan cheese.
One of the biggest pluses of living so close to campus is walking to class every day. In the morning, it gives me time to get my thoughts together before getting thrown into the day. Yoga, barre and pilates are also great ways to reduce stress. Recently there have been multiple yoga events on campus I’ve definitely taken full advantage of. However, if these resources aren’t available to you, there are so many great no-equipment necessary Youtube videos you can do from home; all you need is a yoga mat!
What are your self-care tips/tricks for surviving a stressful week?