Whether you’re preparing to enter tertiary education or are currently a student in university, you’ve probably heard about the stressful moments you’ll face while studying in university. While I was in university, I watched how people around me tried to cope with their stress while juggling their assignments, social life, clubs and activities, you name it!
From moving to a whole new phase of life and being more independent, to dealing with the different pressures and new experience university life has to offer, it’s clear that it could be a difficult transition for some students. I remember how nervous and excited I was when I moved to Malaysia from Indonesia to continue my studies in Taylor’s. I was ready to live the university life I’ve always dreamed and imagined.
However, I witnessed many of my friends practising unhealthy habits to cope with the stresses they were dealing with. This made me realise that we need to practise healthy self-care habits before we start forming bad habits.
But what is self-care and why is it important? Simple.
Self-care is essentially the action that is needed to care for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. To be more independent, you’d need to start taking care of yourself.
Here are 5 different areas of your life that you should be checking in from time-to-time for your well-being:
The first thing you need to take care of is your physical well-being. Why?
When you take good care of your body, you'll start thinking and feeling better too.
Think about it. If you constantly neglect your sleep by burning the midnight oil, you’ll be too tired to think about socialising and your mental, emotional as well as spiritual life will also be affected.
When it comes to physical self-care, ask yourself these questions:
Are you getting an adequate amount of sleep? Or are you living off coffee?
Are you eating healthily or have you had an endless amount of instant noodles?
Are you getting enough exercise?
Some people might find it hard to make time for a social life once you’re swamped with assignments, exams, and different clubs and societies. But, my dear readers, maintaining a close connection with your close friends and loved one is very important. Time management is key when thinking about your social life.
Try reflecting on these questions about your social life:
Are you getting enough face-to-face time, whether physical or virtual, with your friends?
How often do you call your parents?
Are you doing anything to nurture your relationships with friends and family?
If physical self-care is about how you fuel your body, then mental self-care is how you recharge your mind.
Your mental health is what will make or break your well-being. It’s important to then fill your mind with positive thoughts which can be done by giving yourself some time to watch inspirational movies and reading self-improvement books.
Consider these questions as a mental self-care practice:
Are you making enough time for yourself to relax mentally?
Have you reflected on what you’ve done in the day?
Are you practising any activities that will help you stay mentally healthy?
We can never ever neglect the need to nurture our spiritual side in order to have a healthy lifestyle. When you’re physically and mentally tired, your spiritual life would give you a deeper sense of meaning, understanding, and connection with yourself.
As you consider your spiritual side, ask yourself:
What questions do you ask yourself about your life and experience?
Have you engaged in any spiritual practices like meditation?
Are you dedicating enough time to pray or take care of your spiritual side?
As human beings, we’ll never be able to separate ourselves from different emotions like anger, anxiety, and sadness. No matter what kind of emotions we’re feeling, it’s completely normal for anyone to have those emotions.
What’s more important is what we do with these emotions. Some people find that constantly sharing with close friends might help them to deliver their emotions in a better way. What about you? Have you found your way?
Let's consider these questions to understand your current practices:
Do you bottle up your emotion or do you have someone to pour your emotions to?
Do you have a healthy way of processing your emotions?
Do you incorporate activities into your life that will help you feel recharged?
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to reflect on your current self-care practice and develop your own self-care plan to cater to your every need.
Remember, the quality of your life depends on how you take care of yourself. The more you take care of yourself, the more you can take care of others.
Taylor’s alumni, Winny Huang, completed her Bachelor's Degree in International Business & Marketing (Hons) at Taylor’s University in October 2020. She is still currently the Director and Talent Management for the Taylor's Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship Club.
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