5 Tips about Self Care during Spring

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This blog post is by Mira Hukill, a member of OSBHA Student Health Advocates

Self-care is important all the time no matter what time of year it is. However, with the end of the school year there’s AP testing, final report cards and for some of us, graduation. Spring seems so busy with other things as well, it’s stressful! It can be easy to throw self-care out of the window and cram all night instead. Self-care is often low on our list of priorities, but why is that? Self-care is often considered selfish or lazy. The truth is, self-care isn’t selfish at all. If you’re skipping out on self-care, it might be harder to handle stress!Good Studio/Adobe Stock

So, you might be wondering how you can incorporate self-care in your busy schedules. I asked my fellow peers what they do for self-care when they don’t have much free time and things to remember. I pooled up some of my ideas as well.

1: Deep Breathing
Remember to take a moment to slow down and breathe. It’s easy to want to go super-fast and stress over everything you need done, so taking a moment to focus on your breathing can reduce built up tension and stress. The great thing about this method is that you can do it anywhere, anytime!
~Square breathing is a well-loved breathing technique. You breathe in for 4 counts, hold that for 4, breathe out for 4, and hold for 4. You can go at whatever pace works for you, and if you’re having trouble keeping time you can trace a square shape with your finger on a surface for a visual aid. There are many different variations of this technique around the internet as well.
~Breathing gifs are great because you don’t have to worry about keeping time and they are super satisfying to look at! You can google ‘breathing gifs’ on any mobile device and they should pop up. They often show some sort of shape moving up and down or expanding to provide a visual to breathe along with.
2: Study Breaks
Don’t forget to take breaks when you’re studying! You’ll actually focus much better taking a 15 minute break every 45 minutes or so. Stretch, go outside, eat some food, have a mini dance party!
3: Don’t Sacrifice Sleep
Sleep is usually the first thing people take out of their schedules when they’re busy. Don’t stay up all night to study or finish homework! Sleep is so much more important to your mental and physical health. Getting 7-10 hours of sleep will have you more focused and help you concentrate throughout the day! When you don’t get enough sleep, you can have problems focusing, solving problems, and finishing tasks. Your body will be so much happier when it’s well rested. If you have trouble sleeping, you can:
~go to bed/wake up at the same time everyday
~turn off your phone an hour before bed
~use relaxation techniques like hot tea, a nice bath, a scented candle, or a good book to help you relax
4: Pick Some Flowers
So many flowers pop up in spring, it’s the perfect opportunity to bring some into your home! Take a trip to your backyard or a nearby field and pick a bouquet. It can cheer up a space and they smell nice. If you have the space and time, plant some flowers. The local bees and butterflies will visit you more!
5: Self Care isn’t Always Easy or Fun
In media, self-care is usually portrayed as something that’s always elegant or cute, like facemasks or reading your favorite book. It totally can be, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes self-care is crying for a few minutes or a few hours, sometimes it means getting out of bed to take a shower even if you don’t want to. Sometimes it’s acknowledging what you’re going through, which can be tough. Sometimes it’s telling an adult what you’re going through. It’s important to know that you can’t be operating at top performance all the time. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed at the end of the year or really anytime.
5: Standardized Testing/Your grades don’t define you!
The most important thing to remember is that standardized testing or your grades in no way represent your worth or define how smart you are. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t do as well as you wanted to- if you did your best that still deserves celebrating!
Self-Care Instagram Pages!
Works Cited
Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency | National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). (2019). Nhlbi.nih.gov. Retrieved 2 May 2019, from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency
Good Study Habits | Central Michigan University . (2019). Cmich.edu. Retrieved 2 May 2019, from https://www.cmich.edu/ess/studentaffairs/SDS/Pages/10-Habits-10-Traps.aspx