Self care tips for college students

Harry+Styles+pictured+toting+around+a+giant+water+bottle+%E2%80%94+a+wellness+essential.

Photo courtesy of Twitter

Harry Styles pictured toting around a giant water bottle — a wellness essential.

Olivia Chiappelli, Arts Reporter

The irony is not lost on me that one flip of a page or scroll of a screen would reveal that  I also wrote an article this week about how the commercialization of the wellness industry has caused us to lose sight of the actual movement, and now I am giving you self care recommendations. I am a victim of society.

However, in this college self care guide I will try my best to not appeal to the commercialization of wellness, but rather focus on practices you can utilize on your journey of being well. (I will also recommend products though because that is also just fun.)

1. Meditation

Meditation is everywhere right now. It feels like on every self-help guide meditation is one of the first things mentioned, yet the practice can still feel daunting or intimidating as a concept, especially for college students with already packed schedules and little time for sitting still.

For those unfamiliar, the steps to meditation are as follows: The first step is to find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet. The second step is to set a time limit for your meditation, five to ten minutes is a good place to start. The third step is to find a comfortable and stable position that you can stay in for the duration of your meditation. 

The fourth step is to follow your breath as it goes in and out. The fifth step is to notice when your mind has wandered. At some point, especially if you are a beginner, your focus will shift from your breath so be prepared to have to intentionally return your attention to your breathing. 

This leads to the sixth step of being kind to your wandering mind. While often overlooked, this step is very important as you should not allow yourself to obsess over your intrusive thoughts, but rather just simply return your attention to your breath without judgment. The final step is to close your meditation with kindness while taking time to notice the sounds, feelings, thoughts and emotions around you. 

Another tip for getting started with meditation as a college student is to practice coupling, where you pair the practice of meditation with something that is already in your daily routine. For example, if you know that you have a cup of tea every morning, make that time devoted to a cup of tea and a few minutes of meditation, that way making time for meditating can feel like less of a stressful inconvenience.

2. Mindful eating

Another practice that you can employ as a college student to help promote your personal health and wellness is mindful eating. Mindful eating involves eating slowly and without distraction, like a phone or TV show. It is also about engaging your senses by noticing the colors, smells, textures and flavors of your food, as well as noticing the effects food has on your feelings and body. 

Mindful eating helps you to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger, and also teaches you how to cope with the guilt and anxiety that often surround the idea of food by allowing you to appreciate your food as an intentional act rather than a mindless automatic one.

I have personally started to employ mindful eating into my daily life and have found that I enjoy and appreciate my meals way more now that I have intentionally created a peaceful and calm experience to look forward to every day.

3. That trendy water bottle from Amazon with the encouraging quotes

Finally, I could not resist recommending at least one self care themed product when making this list and the chosen item is that trendy water bottle from Amazon with the encouraging quotes. I once saw Harry Styles using this giant water jug, and that seems pretty “well” to me.