Capetown Student Accomodation

Life Skills: Learning Self-Care in University

One of life’s most important skills is learning self-care. Actually, it’s probably more like knowing exactly what self-care is, and then making it work for you.

Self-care is an all-encompassing process of looking after your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Well, of course you’re going to look after yourself – after all, isn’t that we all do anyway?

Well, no. University students, in particular, have a hard time adjusting to life minus the comforts of home. In the flurry of effort that it takes to manage your time, money, and lessons, the first thing to take a knock is your health.

Consider these points.

Self-Care Made Simple

Yes, you’re young and strong. But, without proper self-care you’re going to start feeling lethargic, unfocused, and permanently exhausted. Here’s why.

You’re not getting enough sleep. Whether you’re partying until sunrise or you’re just a really diligent student and burning the midnight oil, a lack of sleep is going to catch up with you pretty quick. Effects of insufficient sleep include trouble concentrating, stress, anxiety, bad moods, and often, depression.

Your eating habits suck. Missing Mom’s Sunday roast? We bet you are. If you’re living on noodles and pizza then not only will you enjoy an expanding waistline, but you’re going to feel sluggish, foggy, and grumpy. That’s what a poor diet does to you.

You’re not getting enough exercise. Even a 20-minute brisk walk is enough to get your heart rate up and boost oxygen levels in your brain. Feel-good hormones are kicked into high gear and you will be better focused and handle stress better. No downsides there.

You’re not managing stress. Stress is one of those silent partners that dogs you until you deal with it. Prolonged stress leads to mental and emotional disorders, eating and sleeping disorders, and a host of other long-term illnesses that you really don’t need right now.

You need some headspace. What we mean by this is that you simply must take time to just be. To relax into a safe space without distraction, to rest your mind, to consider your thoughts, and to be aware of how you are feeling. We’ve chatted about the benefits of meditation before, and it really does create a quiet space that we humans need more of.

Self-care is multifaceted and will take many forms. Ultimately, you’re looking for balance and a healthy lifestyle at University. Learning these skills now will serve you well in the future.