By Felicia Keok
When was the last time you were actually free to do something you loved? A cup of coffee with a good book or perhaps a stroll in the park?
Despite experiencing high amounts of stress and anxiety from the demands of school, students often feel guilty about taking time out of their busy schedules for themselves. They spend long hours on assignments, only to find themselves in this vicious cycle over and over again.
In a fast-paced society like Singapore, there are times when we need to slow down, relax and have some fun. Self-care is essential for students because it encourages them to be kind to their minds and bodies. Here are four ways you can start practising self-care which might turn out to be just the thing you need for that much-needed balance.
Yoga is a form of exercise that uses breathing and meditation techniques to improve one’s health and happiness. Getting into the habit of doing yoga every morning allows you to build strength, balance, flexibility and reduce your anxiety and stress levels. According to the Harvard Health Report, yoga can also improve your sleep quality, blood circulation, and minimise the risk of heart diseases.
You can start your day off with a simple 15-minute yoga session consisting of core exercises, followed by exercises that stretch your shoulders, hamstrings, neck, and hips. Beginners need not worry because there are plenty of yoga exercises and workouts that you can follow online.
Keeping a diary helps you clarify your thoughts and ultimately helps you get to know yourself better. This is because it allows you to reflect on events that are happening in your life, and you may consciously try to improve yourself through self-reflection. If you struggle with high amounts of stress, jotting your thoughts and feeling down is a good way to express your emotions. Better still, it is an inexpensive way to de-stress!
Before turning in, take some time to revisit events that have happened during the day, including how you felt, how you reacted or how you wanted to react, and pen them down.
A good night’s sleep is vital to feeling fresh and rejuvenated the next day. A good rest can also help to improve your complexion, maintain good brain function, and boost your immunity. As a tertiary student, compromising sleep to make up for missed screen time during the day might be a common habit that we may adopt on a daily basis. However, this habit results in us feeling physically drained and unable to pay attention in class, which ultimately affects the quality of our lesson deliverables.
It is crucial to make sleep your priority, however, sleeping too much can also result in low energy, memory problems and anxiety. Ensure that you have 8 to 10 hours of sleep daily, and stay away from electronic devices, alcohol, or anything else that can interrupt your natural sleep onset at least 2 hours before sleep. Do this consistently for a week, and you will definitely see a change!
Let’s be honest, cooking is usually seen as a chore, but it is actually the most fundamental way that we can impact our physical health. It allows us to control what we are feeding our bodies, from micro to macronutrients.
As the saying goes, “You are what you eat”, so what are you waiting for? There are a variety of healthy recipes to follow! From a simple snack like a yoghurt oatmeal bowl to a full course meal like Chicken Bolognese, there is certainly a recipe out there for you. Plus, grocery shopping is considered by some to be therapeutic, so that is something worth trying as well.
Of course, never forget that self-care methods can vary from person to person. Whatever tickles your fancy, just make sure that you take time out of your busy life to care for yourself.
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