Girl holding a mug and writing in her journal as she looks out the window.

In these difficult times, taking care of our mental and physical health has never been more important. Allowing ourselves the space and permission to take care of our needs can be incredibly relieving. Here are 3 ways you can start practicing self-care this week.


1.Make time for self-care

Whether your schedule is overloaded with things to do or wide open it is important to make time to focus on you. Creating a self-care routine (e.g. spending 30 minutes doing something that makes you feel refreshed every day) and sticking with it allows you to have consistency and build a habit that can help you in all areas of your life in the long run.


2.Find what works for you

With all of the different ways that we can take care of our mental, physical and spiritual self, finding the strategies that work for you is important. Self-care is about doing (or not doing) the things that bring you happiness, comfort or sense of ease.Here are a few things you can try if you’re not sure where to start. 

  • Decompress. Making time to let go of the day can be very beneficial for your mind. This can come in the form of sitting outside, writing down your thoughts from the day, taking a relaxing bath or shower or calling a friend.
  • Fuel your body. Fueling your body with the foods that make you feel good can have a positive impact not only on your health but your mood as well. Check “Healthy Buffs: How to fuel for finals” for easy snack recipes and activities to help you stay full and focused during finals.
  • Stay active. Try setting a routine to get at least 20-30 minutes per day. This could be going for a walk or run, yoga, jumping jacks or jumping rope, dancing or if you’re looking for at-home-workouts, check out the CU Boulder Rec Center’s virtual fitness classes for inspiration. 

Try using the time you’ve got to rediscover your childhood interests. Did you always want to learn how to play the ukulele? Now is your chance. How about learning (or re-learning) how to do a handstand or a cartwheel? Whatever piques your interest, go after it, and if it brings you joy even better. You’ll never know what you like until you try.


3.Mix it up

Once you know what works for you it can also be fun to change it up every so often. Here are some other ideas you can try to keep yourself energized and entertained.

  • Feel the beat. Make a playlist of your favorite songs, put on your headphones and let it ring. If you want a more insightful listening experience, check out these 9 podcasts to keep you entertained.
  • Digital detox. When our only connection seems to be virtual, it can be difficult to set limits on our use of technology.If that sounds hard, try putting your phone away during meals or when you take a self-care break so you’re not tempted to check social media or the latest news update.
  • Color. You may think coloring is just for kids, but coloring can be a great way to ease your mind.  If you want to show off your best Buff coloring skills, check out the CU coloring pages with designs for you to try. If you don’t have a printer or coloring book handy, try drawing a bunch of shapes on a piece of paper and filing them in with different colors and patterns.
  • Break out the games. If you are at home with others take advantage of the time you have together. Dig up that PS1 to play Mario Kart or a good ol’ deck of cards for a classic Blackjack match. Games can be a great way to spend time with others and are sure to lift everyone’s mood. 
  • Try meditation. A simple 5 minute meditation before you start or end your day can relax and clear your mind. Check out CU Boulder Rec Center meditations on YouTube  to help you get started. For more sound specific meditations check out Health Buffs meditation soundtracks.

In times like these it’s important to take care of ourselves. 


Resources

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
CAPS offers a number of virtual and telehealth services for students, including individual counseling, drop-in appointments and virtual workshops. They will also be launching a virtual version of Let’s Talk on May 11. Call 303-492-2277 to make an appointment or visit the COVID-19 Updates page for more information.

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