Illustration by Macey Elder
BY GRACE DEARING, WEB EDITOR
As a college student, I’ve seen first-hand how easy it can be to get wrapped up in to-do lists, meetings and classes. Having a jam-packed schedule often means disregarding care for yourself. I’m the first to admit that I find myself putting my mental and physical health second to the many responsibilities I have to take care of throughout the week.
Since realizing this, I’ve been making a conscious effort to prioritize myself by doing the things I love and I challenge you to do the same. Here are three simple things you can do once a week to carve out time for yourself within your busy schedule:
This may be an obvious one, but it is SO important! Treating yourself to your favorite things every once in a while can be a big mood lifter. Take yourself on a coffee date, buy yourself fresh flowers or take yourself on a picnic! Incorporating small things like these into your weekly routine will give you something to look forward to every week, and you’ll make yourself feel special once you do it. I mean, who doesn’t love getting fresh flowers?!
It’s no secret that exercise is good for both your mind and body. Not only do your muscles reap all the fun benefits of a workout, but your mind does too! When you move your body, endorphins (the happy chemical) are released into your brain, thus lifting your mood. Plus, setting aside time to workout gives you a chunk of time that is just for you (or you and a friend, if you’re into partner workouts!).
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to go and run a marathon or do some crazy strength training workout (unless that’s the kind of thing that brings you joy). Moving your body can be as simple as going for a walk and listening to your favorite podcast, completing a quick yoga flow or simply stretching for 20 to 30 minutes. Any movement is good movement!
Public Service Announcement: Watching Netflix is not something you should feel guilty for!
No, seriously. Trust me, I understand how stressful it can be when you have a to-do list looming over your head while you lay in bed and binge-watch your favorite TV show. But, I also know that we sometimes make these to-do lists more stressful than they need to be. Ask yourself: Does everything on my list have to be completed tonight? Or, can I wait a day and allow my brain time to decompress before bed? You don’t always have to be two steps ahead of your responsibilities, and it’s actually healthy for your brain to take some time off in order to avoid burnout!