Welcome back! I hope you had an amazing summer filled great memories that last long after your tan fades. Heading back to school, or to school as an incoming freshman, is an exciting time. New friends, new classes, new activities – it’s a lot to take in!
What are you planning to do to make sure all that “new” doesn’t wear you out?
One of the biggest hurdles I’ve seen among students is self-care. You may be wondering why a “Love Coach” is talking about stress and self-care, but it is directly related! Keeping stress at bay helps you in EVERY relationship, especially the one with yourself. I have seen that when we take care of ourselves, and show ourselves some love, we are better friends, partners, and people. Taking care of yourself emotionally and physically is just as important as that research project!
What if I told you there are four things you could do to make sure you can have your cake and eat it too? Ways that you can succeed academically, be a social butterfly, and still feel full of energy?
Here are my stress-free secrets to optimal self-care:
1. Sleep. I know, I know! It’s the first thing to go in college, but it is the most important variable in relation to stress, your immune system, and your happiness. Sure you can survive on four hours and zombie walk through your day, but biologically we need at least seven hours to be healthy. Make choices that allow you to get that rest. A night owl? Try to schedule classes that accommodate. Can’t change your schedule? Make an effort to work around it, and still get your shuteye. Naps help!
2. Say no. Everyone talks about how saying YES is so important to avoid missing out on opportunities. What everyone fails to discuss is the flipside of yes. Sometimes “yes” does more harm than good. When you are exhausted, on a deadline, or just feeling blah – say NO. You will never show up 100 percent feeling meh (or even 50%), so spend that time taking care of yourself instead. Read a book, get some of that sleep, hit the gym. Whatever you are passing on will come back around. Promise.
3. Keep perspective. Most of the things that stress us out in life aren’t life-changing. Before you allow yourself to get upset, think, “Is this REALLY worth my anxiety? What’s my alternative here?” Every stressful situation has a way to un-detonate. Have a fight with your friends? Give it a breather and then talk about it. Get a bad grade on an exam? Figure out what you need to do to counteract it. Stress is giving up your power to change. Keep that power, and find the alternative.
4. Just breathe. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is! Yoga and meditation are favorites of mine because they help to reconnect us to our breath. Taking a few deep breaths automatically calms you down and allows you to think more clearly. Next time you find yourself getting riled up, just take a moment to breathe all the way down into your belly five times. You don’t have to climb the mountains of Tibet or meditate for days to chill out. Just breathe.
Here’s to a stress free semester!
Credit // Author: Rachel DeAlto
Rachel DeAlto is helping students improve their lives with positive relationships and self-love. Learn about her keynotes at campuspeak.com/dealto.