Self-love. No matter how you describe it or what it means to you, there’s no doubt that it’s something that all of us should practice. In college, sometimes the days fly by so fast that before you know it, you’re halfway through the semester, stressed out, and are seriously considering dropping all your classes to move to New Zealand and become a sheep herder.
So how do you practice self-love? Well, look where your mind goes when it wanders! If you’re in class and start to wonder how great that recipe in your Facebook newsfeed looked, go home and try it out. If you’re at the gym and you can’t stop thinking of Hot Cheetos, do yourself a favor and go buy yourself a bag. Self-love isn’t always about indulgence, though — sometimes it’s just about being kind to yourself. Eating healthier, exercising, and taking time out of your day to do something nice for yourself (even if it’s just painting your nails or watching that soccer game you’ve really wanted to catch). These things are enough to reset your mind, give you a little room to breathe and help you go back to work refreshed and recharged.
Self-love can also mean taking a break from social media. Between keeping Snapchat streaks, posting on your finsta and tracking the likes on your Facebook profile picture, social media has become a measure of validation and a yardstick to measure how loved you are. Toxic Facebook friends, Instagram models with unattainable bodies and notifications that blow up your phone, often serve as a source of stress to most college students, even if we don’t realize it. Social media is inarguably a valuable tool that connects faraway friends and close ones too — and honestly, a good meme can make your day. However, too much of anything is poisonous, and this is especially true in today’s social media landscape.
It’s also important to realize that a large part of self-love is time management. As college students, we seldom realize how much we’re juggling. Between extracurriculars, midterms, calls from insistent parents and internships, it’s no wonder that burnout is the most common thing college counselors diagnose. Time management is an incredibly person-specific thing, so figure out what works for you. Whether you go analog with bullet journals, digital with Google Calendar or just carry around a to-do list, make sure you jot down the day’s most important tasks and allot yourself some time to relax if need be.
In the end, self-love is something that begins and ends with you. Especially with how fast-paced life tends to be in college, it’s important to know that you deserve some time off (especially since you clicked on this article about giving yourself a break). College has the potential to be the best four years of your life, so make sure you’re doing your best to make it that way.