It can be so easy to let stress and work dominate your hectic life, whether that is at university or as a young professional. Mastering the art of self-care allows you have a more balanced lifestyle. For me in particular this was something I wasn’t great at especially in the first few years at university. Overworking and burning myself out became normal and as a result I just felt so out of balance. With architecture especially, late nighters are encouraged and idealized which put pressure on me in my early years to just work all the time with little rest. Looking back, I realise just how stupid this was, and ended up doing more harm then good. Overtime I managed to learn to listen to myself and my body in knowing then to pull back from my work. However, I am by far from perfect. It is still so easy for me to slip into unhealthy habits especially from external pressures. I think getting a good balance between “work and play” is something I am constantly learning to balance, but I can offer some helpful tips that help me on my self care journey.
1st: Take a Break
Perhaps the most obvious self care tip. Learning when to take a break when working or studying is super important to be more efficient and keep your mind more concentrated. It Is very easy to get to engrossed in something you release you haven’t left your house in two days (trust me I have done this way too often especially near my deadlines) In general as I am on the computer a lot due to the nature of my degree I try to get up every hour, take a walk, get a coffee, do some washing or go to the super market. Scheduling your breaks really helps to keep on top of giving yourself some tlc.
3rd: Take Care of your immune system
It is so easy at university especially to slip into unhealthy habits which can leave you getting ill more regularly. For me as a runner I have to look after my immune system a lot as it can be so easy to get really ill which isn’t great if you have lots of deadlines. Cheap immune boosters would be ginger, lemons, matcha green tea and garlic. I personally regularly make matcha latte’s as I have found they have made a big difference to my immunity due to its richness of antioxidants.
Now I am not talking about your shitty supermarket mass produced chocolate, I am talking about pure Cacao! My absolute favourite when I feel stressed is to have a few bits of vegan chocolate. Chocolate contains anandaminde which is a bliss molecule helping create a feeling of euphoria. Another mood lifting molecule found in cocoa is PEA (phenethylamine) which triggers endorphins. try I would recommend trying Ombar as a vegan chocolate brand.
2nd: Have a Bubble bath
This is one which I absolutely love. Coming back home after a stressful day I cannot wait to slip into a nice warm bubbly bath, pop on my favourite tunes. yes, perfect bliss! Maybe if I am feeling a bit cheeky I’ll treat myself to a glass of wine too.
Another obvious point but so easy to get wrong. Getting the right about of sleep is so vital for our brains and bodies to function properly. We need sleep to repair, rejuvenate and revitalize ourselves for the day ahead. 6-8 hours of sleep is the perfect amount for me, I am one of these kind of people that really suffers the next day if I don’t get the right about of sleep. Especially with my degree, doing all nighters can become habit and is almost classed as the “cool” thing to do. yeah not so cool when lack of sleep makes you go a bit crazy after a few days. I have become better in getting into a routine of getting the right amount of sleep and consequently I find I am more efficient and more focused when getting work done.