By Jasmine Burke, Wellbeing Editor
Wellbeing Editor Jasmine Burke discusses the simpler side of self-care.
Self-care: you have probably heard it said, seen it in a hashtag, or joked about practicing it while you treat yourself to a third glass of wine. It has become such a widespread term nowadays that everything and anything appears to be a method of it. While yes, this is true - anything you can do for yourself that makes you feel good is a method of self-care - we often forget some of the most basic methods, especially with our University schedules.
Though often associated with bubble baths and face masks, the process of self-care is a lot simpler when stripped back. It involves treating your mind and your body with the love and the respect that they deserve; remembering that even though your grades are incredibly important, you deserve to feel taken care of. So, with one teaching block down and one more to go, here is a list of some basic things to think about when your mind is lost in academia and neglectful of your personal health:
It sounds ridiculously obvious and there are probably some people reading this thinking 'Well duh, who doesn't shower...' But when you are at a low point it can actually be one of the first things to go. If you are sat at home for three days straight stressing over an essay deadline or lecture notes, your desire to shower daily can get a bit lost in the brain fog. Take a break, drag yourself into the bathroom and jump under that water. You may feel de-motivated, you may not see the point if you are going to hop back into your pyjamas, but I can guarantee you that you will feel somewhat rejuvenated afterwards. The same goes for brushing your teeth and applying deodorant - even if you will be the only one smelling you.
Talk to someone
Yes, I know, talking to someone is the obvious advice given with most mental health advice posts. However, in this instance I am not necessarily talking about sharing your problems, I am just talking about getting some human contact. When I get into any sort of essay/study hole, I am prone to locking myself in my room for days on end and avoiding any and all human interaction. While this can be good in the short term, I cannot recall the amount of times that 10-15 minutes of talking to my flatmate in the kitchen or phoning my mum has made my mood drastically increase. Alone time is great, but so is a little bit of socialising.
Change your bed sheets
When was the last time you changed your bed sheets? Usually, if you have to ask yourself, it has already been too long. Again, may seem like a basic tip, but when Uni gets to that stage where everything is a blur and each week runs into the next, a week of unchanged sheets suddenly turns into a month.
Take those dirty cups and plates out of your room
You know they are there. I know they are there. It is time to bite the bullet and take them to the kitchen - your nose will thank you for it.
Photo by: Epigram / Jasmine Burke
If you are not planning to leave your house for the next few days, it is so tempting to stay in your pyjamas day in and day out... But it is probably better that you don't. Yes, changing is effort and it can seem like a waste of clean clothes, but it will put you in a better mentality and probably help you feel a little more productive. It doesn't have to be anything too different - I still don't understand how some people wear jeans indoors - just throw on a pair of comfy tracksuit bottoms and an old T-shirt. In fact, in some of my darker 'wallow days' I have changed from one pair of pyjamas to a fresher pair of pyjamas. Literally anything that makes you feel comfortable but still gives the illusion that you tried... We are faking it until we make it over here.
It could be down the street, to Sainsburys for food, or literally just down the stairs, out your door and back in again. Having a brief change of location can reset you and give you a little bit of peace. It is a chance to refocus and adjust; even if all you do is get back into bed afterwards, at least you have had a quick breath of fresh air.
If there was a prize for absent mindedly forgetting to drink anything and then ending up accidentally dehydrated, I would definitely be a contender. In fact, when I am going through a busy or focused period of time, water is always the first thing I forget. We all know the benefits of hydration and the fact that you need it survive, so make sure to keep it in the back of your mind. For me, it helps when I keep a bottle/glass of water beside me wherever I am, because as a prone-fidgeter I will find myself sub-consciously reaching for it. The same goes for eating meals.
I will admit, this is a bit of a cheesy thing to end on, but this list is a basic one after all. It is so easy to get wrapped up in your situation or in your own head so take a moment to slow down. Close your eyes, breathe in for five and out for five and list out some things that make you happy in your head. It can be super basic like your favourite TV show or song. Literally just take a moment centre yourself and calm down.
Featured Image: Unsplash / Jared Rice
Do you have any more tips for basic self-care? Let us know by commenting below or getting in touch!