Especially now, with winter approaching - and the days getting shorter - it is even more important to take good care of yourself. How do you do that? We can help you. These 10 self-care tips will help you get through the winter months!
1) Go offline
Maybe not the day before you have to submit a work group assignment, but try going offline for a whole weekend! No endless scrolling through your Facebook timeline, no hours spent watching Instagram Stories and TikTok challenges, just no phone or laptop (so yes, that means no Netflix!). What can you do instead? Read a book, do a jigsaw puzzle, bake a cake, write, draw, paint, take a walk, so long as it’s offline.
2) Take care of yourself
Self-care means nothing more than taking care of yourself. So try taking good care of yourself. It is important! Even if you basically don't see anyone all day, you still see yourself. Take a shower, dress nicely and why not make yourself smell nice. Use your favourite shower gel, paint your nails, put on your favourite socks ... whatever it is that makes you happy. You matter too!
You may not be able to go to the pub, but that doesn't mean that you can’t dance. Make a playlist of your favourite disco classics, party music or cheerful sing-alongs and take a dance break one or more times a day. Swinging your hips not only makes you feel nice and warm, your body also produces substances that make you feel happier.
4) Get cleaning!
Clichés are there for a reason and you will have probably heard this one before: a tidy house is a tidy mind. It boils down to the fact that it is harder to concentrate next to a pile of dirty dishes, empty crisp bags and a heap of dirty laundry. So, time for a big clean up. Do you live in a student house with housemates? Then try to get your housemates to tackle the whole house together. Put on some good music (for example the playlist you just made), empty your head and get scrubbing. It’s not the most fun job, but bet you feel better afterwards?
5) Write down your thoughts and concerns
Especially these days, it is normal to worry sometimes or that your mind is full of all kinds of thoughts. Don’t carry them around with you, write them down! Some people call this a ‘brain dump’. At a fixed time of the day (for example when you get up or just before you go to sleep), take a moment to write down everything that is bothering you in a notebook. This gets rid of thoughts in your head by putting them down on paper.
6) There’s an app for that…
Self-care also means: allowing yourself things that make your life easier. In the app stores you can find countless apps to make you more productive, to motivate you or help you relax. Download Forest and plant digital trees to boost your concentration, use Todoist, MinimaList or Do! for to-do lists, and unwind with guided meditations from Calm or Headspace.
7) Go outside
Fresh air and exercise is important. That doesn’t mean you have to run ten kilometres a day straight away; a half-hour walk is plenty. A 30 minute walk will make you feel a lot better. It helps you concentrate better and gives you energy. It has even been scientifically proven that people who go outside and exercise regularly suffer less from negative feelings than people who do not.
8) Stick to a routine
Fluctuations in routine disturb the balance of your sleep-wake rhythm and affect your hormonal balance. In other words: having a daily routine is important. Even when you don’t have to get up early, get up at about the same time every day.
9) Eat healthily (and tasty)
No one can survive on crisps and sweets - including you. Healthy eating gives you energy and ensures that you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs. This does not mean that you have to force yourself to eat healthy things. Another cliché that is also true is: tasty food can also be healthy! Find out the kinds of fruit you like and which vegetables are actually alright after all. Then make sure you have enough of these at home, so that if you have a bad day, you don’t have to go to the supermarket.
And while you are stocking up on all those healthy things, why not take a bar of chocolate too. It has also been scientifically proven that chocolate makes you feel happier, so that is also self-care.
Last but definitely not least: talk. With your best friend, with a housemate, with your parents, with your study career counsellor or student counsellor. Share your concerns and ask for help if you need it. If you want, take the notebook with you containing all your thoughts and concerns, so you can discuss the things you have written down. Above all, remember and know that you are never alone, not even in this corona time.