This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more
Keep your mind sharp and your body healthy with these 20 amazing self care ideas for college students, and kiss goodbye to burnout and bad habits for good.
Self-Care Ideas to Try Today
1. Maintain a healthy diet
Healthy eating is the first condition for self-care if you want to stay healthy and happy. Include fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks in your diet.
Avoid eating too much sugar, caffeine, and processed food. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Snack often, and never skip your breakfast.
2. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Sleep is important for resting your brain. Make sure you sleep at least 7-8 hours every night.
Avoid all-nighters as they tend to exhaust your brain faster and reduce your brain’s capacity to absorb information. Try to sleep and wake up early as it will boost your energy and increase information retention.
Related: Staycation Ideas for College Students to Make the Best of a Break
Exercising increases endorphins in your body and keeps your mood lighter. Because of classes and study sessions, we often spend a lot of time sitting. This can cause obesity, and in worse cases, thrombosis.
It is important to move around from time to time. Maintaining a strict exercise schedule can do wonders for your body.
4. Stay creative
It is important to stay creative for your mental well-being. Work your brain out whenever you get the chance.
Read a book – fiction or nonfiction. Write a short story or a poem. Solve a puzzle or challenge a friend to a match of sudoku. Paint if you have art supplies available. Create something new as it will keep your creative juices flowing.
5. Maintain a social life
College can keep you away from old friends and family members who have been the greatest support system all your life. This can be the cause of depression for some.
In college, maintaining a social life is important for your mental well-being. Create a circle of friends with whom you can talk and spend time together.
6. Practice relaxation
Staying relaxed throughout the semester is important if you want to survive it without stress.
Take deep breaths for a few minutes every day. Go out and walk in the fresh air in the morning. If possible, meditate regularly.
7. Stay connected to your family
Missing your family can plummet your mood. So, it is important to stay connected to them.
Take some time out to make a quick video call with your family members, or stay connected to them over instant messaging. They can still be your support system from hundreds of miles away and lighten your mood.
8. Go out in the sun
The never-ending cycle of “dorm-classes-library-dorm” can keep us locked inside the campus walls all day. If you don’t get exposed to the sunlight more often, you might invite vitamin D deficiency real quick.
Take out a few minutes in the morning and late afternoon to soak in sunlight and the vitamin D that comes with it.
9. Set boundaries
Learn to set boundaries so that the stress of maintaining a good grade and a great social life does not become too overwhelming.
Learn when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no.’
Skip hangouts or extra study sessions and take a break when you feel you need it.
10. Take breaks before exams
Taking breaks between study sessions is important, especially when you learn many things at once.
Right before exams, take a break from everything to focus on your studies.
During study sessions, take sufficient breaks of half an hour or an hour to rest your brain. Use the Pomodoro technique to make things simpler.
Related: Genius Exam Prep Tips for College Students
11. Keep a journal
Keeping a journal can be relaxing and stimulating for your brain.
There are various types of journals out there. You can try a bullet journal and prepare spreads according to your needs. You can keep a regular journal to write the anecdotes of a day.
For the busy ones, a one-line journal works just as fine.
12. Prioritize work and set realistic goals
The excessive load of work and studies can be stressful. When studying, learn to identify the most important tasks and get them out of the way first.
Never set goals that you cannot achieve because they can demotivate you. Set small yet challenging goals to stay motivated and maintain deadlines.
Related: Best Study Motivation Tips for College Students
13. Have a spa day
Self-care is not complete if you do not take care of your body. Have a spa day for yourself.
Indulge in a nourishing face mask. Get a haircut or dye your hair. Paint your nails. Do what makes you feel happier and more confident as it will undoubtedly boost your mood.
14. Separate work from study
If you are working during your college, try to keep work and study separate.
Work during work hours and study during study time. Have clear time blocks for each, and make sure that the two do not overlap. It can confuse and tire your brain and reduce productivity.
15. Learn time management techniques
Time management is one of the most important skills to have in college. Check your to-do list and see where you can save time.
Make use of commute time, prioritize your tasks, and skip trivial work to be on top of your game. The time you save can be used to rest your brain or for self-development.
16. Keep tabs on your mental health
As college can be stressful, keeping tabs on your mental health is important.
Dedicate a spread in your journal to track your daily mood. Write an entry on the day you feel upset. Write down the cause of it so you can analyze it later.
You can also use apps to track your mental health. If you do not feel lighter for a long period, there are many resources that can help.
17. Reduce clutter
Clutter can cause distraction and reduce productivity. Therefore, try to keep your dorm room and your study table as clean as possible.
Learn efficient storage systems to stow away unnecessary things. Clean your study table at least once a week. Take trash and useless things out of your backpack too. It will save the time of unnecessarily rummaging when looking for something in it.
18. Watch movies or shows with friends
Studying is important, and so is entertainment. Watch movies or your favorite shows during the hours you have blocked for entertainment.
19. Attend campus activities
Attending campus activities keeps your mind fresh and reduces stress. It gives your brain a different experience.
Going to these activities also increases your chances of networking and expanding your circle.
20. Cook or have dinner at your favorite restaurant
Cooking works like therapy for some. You could try and cook at least twice a month if you have access to a kitchenette in your dorm room.
Cannot cook? No worries! Save up and go out to dine at your favorite restaurant once a month. Take a friend with you, or go alone!
You might also like to read:
100+ Best Summer Bucket List Ideas for College Students
Save and pin for later:
Keep this amazing list of self care ideas for later reference, by pinning this article to one of your college Pinterest boards.