In the rush of those heading back to school tomorrow, I’ve been reflecting on my own time at college, what made it such a rich time in my life, and the difference it would have made if I had learned to apply these 5 Self-Care steps into my routine more regularly. So, in the midst of this new and changing season, here are a few simple ways to tackle the new school semester with more joy, more motivation, and more rest.
1. Turn It Off
The real secret to making the most out of the time you study in college is very simple: turn off your phone. Get the most out of your study sessions by setting apart time in a distraction-free zone—whether that’s a quiet park, a library, or a room to yourself— without your phone. And when it is absolutely necessary that you use technology for schoolwork, remember the 20-20-20 rule, which is the best to follow according to scientists. For every twenty minutes you look at a screen, look away at something for twenty minutes that is twenty feet away. This is supposed to help against that dreaded CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome), which leads to eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision.
2. Take an Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt baths with lavender were one of my favorite things in the middle of hectic weeks cramming for exams. I advise taking one once a week. And here’s a super simple recipe to follow when you do:
- 2 cups of Epsom salts
- 5-10 drops of Lavender or Serenity essential oil
Lavender and Serenity, two of my favorite oils during school, are not only wonderful to add to baths, but excellent for stress headaches! During my time at school, when I would add a drop of Serenity to the top of my head, my stress headache would disappear within ten to fifteen minutes. It was remarkable and the only thing that worked for me! (If by chance you have never given Doterra essential oils a try, feel free to message me for more information on where and how you can get them!)
2. Close The Book
This applies specifically to the Type-A individual, and as a Type-A individual, that was a phrase I heard very often, but advice I rarely took. I’m not telling you not to study. Study hard, but when you’ve studied all you can, close the book. Don’t waste your time over-studying when there’s no new information for you to learn. You are going to get through this. In the precious moments of free time you have, close your book and have heart-to-heart talks and walks with the people you love most. You will not get those moments back!
4. Get Up and Dance
Not only is this an excellent break in between bouts of studying, but dancing has been proven to actually make you smarter.
There was a 21-year old study of senior citizens done at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine published in the New England Journal of Medicine to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental acuity (sharpness or keenness).
Out of that whole study they were shocked to discover that dancing frequently creates a 76% reduced risk of dementia. That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity they studied, cognitive or physical.
If you want to read more about this fascinating article, click here.
With all that to say, it would appear dancing not only helps you burn 400-600 calories in an hour, releases endorphins, and lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease, but also increases your mental acuity. One could say it’s good for the heart, mind, and body. 🙂
5. Get a Massage
In a study done on twenty-six adults who received a 15-minute chair massage two times per week for five weeks showed increased speed and accuracy on math computations! As more studies are being released, it’s being shown that longer Swedish-style massage produces deeper sleep, relaxation, and decreases anxiety and stress; whereas shorter, faster, vigorous-style massage increases the frequencies in your brain that affect your problem-solving abilities. So whether you are stressed and need a relaxation massage to calm your nerves, or are about to take an exam and need to be extra alert, massage can help you.
I wish you all the very best in your future classes and studies. Remember, those of you who are Christ-followers, the Light of the world lives in you; let it shine. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we are always representing Christ.