When your workload is heavy for days, weeks or even months at a time it can be easy to slip into a routine of doing nothing but studying.
But this can lead to low motivation and burnout, which are bad for your grades AND your mental health.
So with the holidays upon us I want to remind you of the importance of taking care of yourself, and how you can practice self care during your studies.
In this blog post, you'll discover:
What is self care?
The Self Care Forum defines self care as ‘the actions that individuals take for themselves…in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness.’
The term self care does also have a medical meaning but I want to talk to you about it from a studying sense – how to practice self-care during your studies.
I believe there are two elements to self care: looking after yourself, and replenishing yourself.
Looking after yourself
This means drinking enough water, eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, getting some fresh air…etc.
The things we all know we should be doing but are very easy to ditch from our days when our workload increases.
I often make excuses that I don’t have time to look after myself. I ditch the gym, gravitate towards junk food, and push my bedtime back when studying gets tough.
But when I do make time to go for a walk, drink lots of water and tea and eat more greens than sweets I feel ten times better.
I get home from work and don’t immediately want to collapse. I can stay focused on my studying for more than five minutes.
This means doing the things that make you feel calm, happy and energised. These are different for everyone.
For me, replenishing self care is:
Work out what replenishes YOU, and fiercely and adamantly make time for it.
Your self-care doesn’t have to take hours. Make ten minutes to do something you love everyday.
Decide on your replenishing self care activity before you start studying and you’ll find it easier to stay focused and motivated.
Why practicing self care will help your grades
If you don't make time to replenish your energy you risk burning out, which happened to me a few weeks ago.
I pushed myself too hard for weeks and didn't make time for healthy eating, relaxation and good sleep.
I ended up taking a full week off of studying and my business because I was too exhausted to do anything other than plod along in my 9 to 5.
So it may seem worthwhile to push yourself past your limits to gain more hours in the week. But this is counterintuitive if you then have to take time out completely to recover from burnout.
Try to create a regular self care practice of looking after yourself and doing one thing that replenishes you every day.
You'll be happier and more motivated to study so you'll find it easier to hit the books and get shiz done. You'll feel more positive, and you'll be better able to get and stay focused.
What if you don’t have time to practice self care during your studies?
Now I know some of you believe that you don’t have time to spend just on yourself. You’re busy, you have lots of commitments, you have family to look after.
But let me share a brilliant quote from Eleanor Brownn.
‘Rest and self care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.’
This quote means that for you to serve others (your friends, family, colleagues) you MUST look after yourself first.
When you are rested, energised and happy you have more to offer those around you.
Why self care is like being on an aeroplane
Self care is like that rule on an aeroplane where, in an emergency, you must put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others.
Why? Because if you’re in danger you cannot help others.
You put your mask on first and then you put masks on your loved ones.
Your practice self care during your studies so you can feel less stressed AND have enough fuel to support your loved ones.
During the holidays it can be difficult to find time for much as your days fill with events and entertaining.
But remember, if you do have to hit the books, make time to practice self care during your studies so you can achieve your goals without the stress.
How do you practice self care during your studies?
Leave a comment below to share how you reenergise and look after yourself.
For some more tips on studying during the holidays, click here to read last week’s blog post.