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Column: Essential Self-Care

By Rayva Gupta and Michelle Mathew

During this pandemic, it is very important to focus on your mental health because social distancing makes it difficult to socialize with others. It is vital for students to try to relax and relieve their stress to be the best version of themselves because sitting in front of a computer screen all day can become mentally and physically exhausting. Here are some tips to help you improve your mental health and well-being.

Take time off from screens. Especially during the pandemic and remote learning, students should take time off from their screens. Using devices all day is very stressful and can cause headaches.

Meditate. Meditation can help clear the mind of any worries students may experience and can help students remain calm. Take a breather between periods when you are feeling stress from classes and listen to your heartbeat or feel your pulse to ground yourself.

Listen to music. Music is an amazing way to divert your mind from anything that is bothering or stressing you out. It is also a great outlet for people to show their creative side. Get your friends to recommend some new music, put on headphones, and dance it out in your room!

Eat healthy food. Grab an orange instead of chips for an afternoon snack. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is beneficial and can reduce fatigue. It also helps to give your body the energy it needs to function throughout the day.

Get sufficient amounts of sleep. Sleep is extremely important for students both physically and mentally. Getting a good night’s sleep has many benefits, such as better focus, and can help you feel less drowsy throughout the day.

Write in a journal. Writing in a journal can be a great way to express yourself by turning your feelings into words. It can also be used to create a list of goals you want to achieve. Create a bucket list in your free time to remind yourself that there is hope for the future.

Drink water. Staying hydrated is crucial when sitting for hours on end. Not drinking water can leave you feeling tired, unfocused, and drowsy. Sometimes, a sip of cold water is all you need to refocus.

Get up and stretch between classes. Sitting for long periods of time can cause stiffness in muscles and joints, which can feel uncomfortable. Walk around the house between periods, or take a walk around the neighborhood if you have a free period.

A few NHP students shared their own routines that they use to maintain self-care.

“After class, I usually take half an hour to eat a snack and watch TV, and then I’ll start my homework. Once I finish my homework, I’ll put on a face mask, take a shower, and vibe to music,” said senior Rebecca Panicker.

“I honestly believe that anything you do that you love can be a form of self-care. As long as you leave 30 minutes of your day to do practically anything you like or take scheduled breaks it can have a major impact on your attitude. Self-care has such a positive impact on my outlook and encourages me to look into more ways to care for myself. If I ever feel stressed or burdened with homework, I like to shower for 15 min and then do my hair and face masks. To me, this process is extremely calming and worthwhile. In the end, I feel mentally prepared to complete the homework that is waiting for me. I strongly encourage everyone to find something that calms them down; although you can get inspiration from someone else, it's much better to find something that works for you and your schedule,” said senior Yasmin Abdelhamid.

Source by Sydney Hargrove, @sydneysscrapbook

Some students use candles, bath bombs, and face masks to help destress and take a moment to relax and breathe.


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