With classes, work, studying and extra-curriculars, we often forget what’s most important: ourselves. You may not realize it, but taking care of yourself is a crucial part of making it, not just in college or at work but life in general! You wouldn’t believe the difference it makes to take just a few minutes in your day, every day, to take some time off from all of life’s craziness.
I tend to have a busy schedule. I have classes four days a week and work part-time at my local library. When I’m done with classes, work takes over. As you may imagine, I can be quite exhausted at the end of the week.
I learned the hard way that taking some time for myself is just as important as doing homework, working on an assignment, or studying for the next exam. I tend to over-commit and always give my 100% in everything I do. That reflected in my health. I was constantly exhausted and had barely any motivation left to do anything else. No matter how much I slept, I was always tired.
I had to make it a priority to take care of myself because otherwise I would fall into this work-university spiral and totally forget to rest.
6 Ways to Make Self Care a Priority
6 Ways to Make Self Care a Priority Click To Tweet
Taking time for yourself is just as important as studying or doing homework. Actually, I would dare to say that it’s even more important! You can retake classes or get another job, but you only have one body to take care of.
I learned that there are some fairly easy ways to make time for yourself in the midst of a busy schedule. You just have to make it a priority.
1 | Schedule it.
If you had an appointment, you would schedule it, right? Well, same thing goes for your “me” time. Think of it as an appointment with yourself. Write it down in your planner (or whatever you use) and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be long: even 15 minutes to yourself can be beneficial.
Think of self care as an appointment with yourself and schedule it into your day. Click To Tweet
I personally like to take at least an hour to myself every day. That way, I can really take some time to decompress. I set myself a time at which I stop doing homework or anything college related. I see it as a reward for the hard day I went through.
2 | Wake up earlier.
Even if I hate waking up too early (I consider any time before 7 am to be nighttime), I have to admit that waking up earlier definitely helps. Not only does it give you more time to get ready in the morning (and if you love primping, you will definitely enjoy having the extra time to do so), but I often end up having some extra time to do as I wish.
I wake up every day at 7 am when I have to go to school, because my morning classes start at 8:50 and I have to take the bus at 8:20. I wake up at that time even on weekends, because I’m usually working at 9:45 am and need to leave the house by 9:20. I could delay my waking time and get an extra hour of sleep, but I like not having to stress about getting ready. Waking up earlier allows me to enjoy my morning routine and take things slow. Most of the time, I’m ready by 8:30, which leaves me about an hour to read or watch an episode of one of my favorite tv shows.
3 | Evaluate the things that are wasting your time every day.
Do you check your emails too often?
Do you spend more time on social media than you had intended?
See what you do every day that you could cut back on, and try to reduce the amount of time you dedicate to those things. Time yourself if you must. You’ll see, you’ll get plenty of extra time just by cutting off some of your distractions.
4 | Learn to say “no.”
Life can be unbelievably busy without adding even more things to our plates that we’re not passionate about.
Between classes, work, parties, family time, and extra-curriculars, it can be hard to find some time to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, it can all seem a little too much.
I learned it the hard way.
I have taken extra shifts when I was already exhausted because I was afraid of saying no. That ended with me having little sleep and being extra stressed. So don’t be like me, and learn to say “no.” Don’t over-commit. Your mind (and your body) will thank you for it.
Learn to say “no” and don’t over-commit. Your mind (and your body) will thank you for it. Click To Tweet
5 | Make the most out of your free time.
You have a mile-long list of books you’ve been wanting to read? Or is there a movie you haven’t gotten around to watching just yet? Make sure you take your free time to do something you want to do. Don’t just spend it on social media—do something you haven’t been able to do!
Take some time to explore your town, go to a yoga class, or walk around campus. There are so many things you could do to occupy your free time. Taking some time to do something you actually want to do will make you feel much more productive, and you’ll enjoy your time off all the more for it.
6 | Focus on productivity.
I know what you must be thinking: “Easy to say…”
But remember those distractions we talked about earlier? They are taking some of your precious time. I can’t count the amount of times I started studying, decided to take a break to check social media, and ended up taking an hour-long break instead of the 15 minutes intended.
Been there, done that.
So, when you’re studying or working on an assignment, try to make the best out of your time. Time yourself, and do as much as you can during that period. Turn off your phone. Set a reward (chocolate, or whatever works for you) at the end if it—whatever helps you stay motivated. And time your breaks, too. As I said, it’s easy to lose track of time while you’re checking your phone. Make sure that doesn’t happen by setting an alarm to remember when your break is over.
There are plenty of ways to make some time to take care of yourself—your health is worth it.
How to Make Yourself a Priority When Life Gets Busy Click To Tweet
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What are some of your favorite ways to squeeze in some “me” time throughout your day? Me? I’m the “how-many-episodes-can-I-watch-on-Netflix-before-I-have-to-admit-I-have-a-problem” type of person. 😉
Amelie Boucher is the blogger behind A Wanderer’s Adventures, a college & lifestyle blog. She’s currently a Communication major at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada. She loves to read books (and write about them) and stays up until 2 am to watch her favorite TV shows on Netflix.