Self care can take many forms and consists of any intentional actions taken to care for physical and mental health. It is a pivotal part of an effective and successful studying routine. Attentive and regular monitoring of your level of stress, physical, mental, emotional and social needs is central to self care.
Things to consider include:
- Sleep: Do I get enough good, regular sleep?
- Diet: Is my food nutritious enough? Am I eating enough/too much?
- Exercise: Medical research advises 3 hours of exercise accrued per week. It should be vigorous enough to make you sweat and increase your heart beat.
- Relaxation: Am I able to relax when I feel I deserve it and have done enough for the day? It is essential to sometimes just ‘tune out’ by lying on a couch, listening to music, going for a slow walk, etc.
- Recreational and social activities: It’s great to go out and meet friends, eat something, have a dance, play some sport, have fun, pursuing your interests etc. Needless to say that this needs to be in balance with careful time management of study tasks.
- Relationships: Do you allow time for people that are important to you? Do you feel satisfied with your relationships or do some of them put a strain on you? Do people respect your needs and your boundaries?
Trying to maintain a good balance of all these aspects of life can be challenging. Things can get out of sync when life gets too busy or stressful and continuous monitoring may ensure you don’t neglect your self care.
To keep in touch with their needs and experiences, some people enjoy journaling, practising relaxation, meditation or mindfulness.