As students you are notoriously short of time, but that’s why it’s especially important to make some time for self-care. Here are six things you can do RIGHT NOW in 10-20 minutes which will leave you feeling uplifted:
Cross something off your to-do list – if you’re anything like me, you have some small task you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten round to (for me it’s responding to emails or calls from my relatives!). Always one to procrastinate, the task sits, niggling, at the back of my mind. Do yourself a favour and get this small job out of the way. You have enough (bigger) things to worry about. You’ll feel strangely free when it’s done and it might inspire you to take on other things you’ve been putting off.
Exercise – 10 minutes is plenty of time to get in a quick, effective workout. If you need inspiration or guidance, there are plenty of routines on YouTube to choose from. I’m a huge fan of an eight-and-a-half minute squat routine that leaves me feeling terrible/wonderful, which is how I know it’s doing its job. Doing even a few minutes of exercise is great for your mind and body and will leave you feeling like you’ve accomplished something.
Nature – take a short walk in your nearest park. Being in nature has been scientifically shown to reduce anxiety and improve mood. A walk in the park will also give you a chance to reflect, decompress, and put things in perspective. Often, taking a short break from studying is the best way to make the time you do spend studying more effective.
Social media de-tox – we all have them: friends or celebrities we follow whose perfectly curated social media feeds seem calculated to make us feel bad about ourselves. Social media can be a fun and useful tool, but it can also contribute to feelings of loneliness or inadequacy. Remember that social media doesn’t reflect real life, it’s usually aspirational. You don’t have to un-friend anyone, just change the settings to un-follow. Take control and detoxify your feed!
Meditation – okay, so we might be obsessed with meditation and mindfulness. But that’s because it’s so hugely beneficial. It doesn’t cost a thing, can be done pretty much anywhere, and doesn’t take a lot of time. With a little time and practice, you could improve your memory and concentration, while reducing any anxiety and depression. Who doesn’t need these things in the run up to exams?! There are lots of free online resources to help get you started.
Tea time – use the next 15-20 minutes to have a cup of tea (or hot beverage of choice!), grab a snack, sit somewhere comfortable and read something for fun. It could be a chapter of the book you’re reading, an article that interests you, anything that isn’t related to your coursework. Sometimes we forget to nourish ourselves properly. This applies to our minds as well as our bodies. A short break will refresh you, clear the mind and leave you ready to tackle the next thing.
Try and work some of these things into your daily routine. You’ll probably find that you’re more productive and get more done even though you’ve taken some time out of your day. Practising some self-care will help you be the best version of yourself. ❤️