Post Image

In the movies, college is often depicted as a time of freedom, exploration, parties, a busy social life, and maybe a few hilarious mistakes. However, in reality, the college experience can be stressful, confusing and overwhelming.

More young adults than ever are reporting high levels of anxiety and depression. Mental health challenges may also be exacerbated in 2020 as the country reels from a global pandemic, presidential election, and political and social unrest.

Here are our top seven self care practices for busy students that will keep your mind and body feeling relaxed and restored as this tumultuous year comes to a close.

  • Meditation. The ancient practice of meditation provides an opportunity to slow down and practice accepting external circumstances without judgement. It has been shown to relax the nervous system, improve mental clarity and produce a sense of calm.
  • Cold showers. While it may seem counterintuitive, regular cold exposure can help reduce inflammation and support your nervous system. It also helps strengthen your vagus nerve, which can reduce stress and the effects of stress on the body.
  • Journal. Keeping a written or video journal is a great form of self-care. Expressing your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis can prevent them from building up and causing resentment.
  • Call your friends. Staying in social connection is extremely important during times of stress. Reach out to your friends and family on a daily basis—even if it’s just a short message—to maintain your close connections.
  • Help someone else. Whether it’s volunteering, donating or raising awareness, helping someone in need or supporting a cause you believe in can boost your mood and energy.
  • Get Vitamin D. A daily dose of Vitamin D can boost the immune system and improve mood. This is especially important during the winter when days are shorter. If you aren’t able to spend time outdoors to absorb sunshine, try taking a Vitamin D supplement or eating foods such as meat or fortified cereals.
  • Exercise. Even 20 minutes of exercise a day can have amazing mental and physical health benefits. If you don’t have the time or energy to work out, try stretching or taking a short walk around the block.