Back-to-school season is a notoriously very exciting, yet also very stressful, time of year for students everywhere. With the increasing pile of homework, papers, assignments, quizzes, and exams approaching, it is easy to begin feeling overwhelmed and stressed about what is to come with the new school year. During the months of August to November, 50% of all sexual violence on college campuses occur, making this time period known as “The Red Zone.” Self care is important for individuals who have experienced this violence, too. Bystanders and advocates should also be sure to care for themselves during this difficult time as well. During this period, it is incredibly important that we all learn ways to prioritize and take care of our minds and bodies. Here are some helpful self-care tips for all of us to practice during this challenging time!
Meditation has been practiced, and dates back, many years. It is known for combining the mind and the body in order to produce a calming sensation. Many positive health effects come as a result of practicing meditation, but most prominently, it has been known to help ease anxiety and depression, while also being a huge tool for managing stress, making it a wonderful tool when caring for yourself during the back-to-school season!
2. Consistent Sleep Schedule
On the topic of managing stress, developing a regular sleep schedule is a way to help keep worries at ease! Taking care of your body during any kind of stressful situation, including going back to school, is very important. Getting into the habit of waking up and falling asleep at fairly similar times everyday will help with the physical adjustment of going back to school and will keep your body and mind well-rested for the days ahead. When practicing this, it is helpful to make sure that your bedroom is a relaxing and quiet place for you to truly unwind.
3. Setting Goals
While commonly overlooked, setting goals is a great way to take care of yourself! Not only do these goals keep your mind focused on specific tasks, but they also prevent burnout from occurring early in the school year. Additionally, it promotes motivation for either long-term or short-term goals. Keeping your goal within an achievable distance is very important to ensure that you will be able to reach them by a certain period of time. A great way to set daily goals is through the use of a to-do list. Organization is key when going back to school, and checking off your daily tasks can make you feel accomplished every day of the week. It is important to remember to be proud of your accomplishments!
4. Daily Routines & Habits
As we all know, the transition from summer to school can be rough. But, another way to ease your way back into the school year, and simultaneously take care of yourself during this tough period, is to set a daily routine or habits to further help with organization. These routines and habits can help you stay “on top” of your work, make you feel accomplished each day, and can also be very stress relieving. Routines can include an allotted hour of time for homework, and habits could be anything from eating a healthy meal each day to going on a ten minute walk. Be sure to schedule breaks! It is important to take time each day to relax. Working hard all the time can be very draining, and it is essential that we take care of ourselves.
Speaking of taking breaks, school is not all about hard work. It is important to get involved and have fun while you are there! Whether you decide to go out to lunch with your friends or join an extracurricular activity at your school, you will be doing a great service to yourself! Unwinding and taking a break from assignments is important when it comes to mental and physical health. Balancing academics with a social life can be a challenge, but it is so rewarding, and necessary, to take time to enjoy yourself in between the stress of classes and homework.