In 2013, the American Psychological Association found that 41.6% of college students put anxiety at their biggest concern.
Essentially, almost half of college students are saying anxiety is a major issue for them. Thats a huge amount of students feeling overwhelmed, worrisome, uncomfortable and even possibly unmotivated.
I struggled with both anxiety and depression throughout high school and unfortunately ended up getting even worse in college. However, I’d say within the past year and a half or so I put some major time and effort into focusing on myself, self care, and trying to change from a mostly negative person. (I’m proud to say I’m a lot better now, though!)
Starting a self care routine for myself set time aside on my best and worst days to ~cleanse~ myself of the day and focus on getting a good nights sleep, which is vital for me to have a good next day.
Here’s why I think starting a self care routine can be so beneficial:
*Note: I’m not affiliated with Amazon or Leuchtturm or any of the websites I shared, just wanted to share things that helped me!*
Cleanse the Day
I think this is my favorite part about a self care routine. No matter the kind of day you had, taking the last hour or even half hour before bed to care for yourself will put you in a much better state of mind before trying to fall asleep.
Instead of going to sleep still worrying about your assignments due tomorrow or that project due next week, take time to yourself to wash the day off and get ready for a good night of sleep.
You could do this in a few ways, from starting a skincare routine to begin journaling on a nightly basis. It’s important, in my opinion, for someone to get all their negative or bothersome thoughts out of themselves in one way or another before trying to fall asleep. Meditation is also a good option before trying to fall asleep! Headspace is a great meditation app available for free download in the app store! I used this for a good bit of time last year, I’ve since created my own meditation routine whenever I need to or just feel like doing it!
Boost Self Confidence
Taking time to rid yourself of those negative thoughts clouding your mind all day before bed can help you feel better about yourself!
I think most people are far too hard on themselves, diminishing their self confidence and causing them to be anxious about everything they do. Telling yourself at the end of each day that what you did was productive, worthwhile and beneficial to the world will make you feel so much better.
If you’re someone who likes to journal, you may begin to get to know yourself a little bit better than you did before once you keep writing. Here is a great, long lasting journal for those on the hunt!
Feel in Control of Your Anxiety
Anxiety can make you feel so out of control of your own emotions, it’s scary. If you’re having a bad day (some days are better than others), having a self care routine to follow will give you time to yourself to think about and reflect on your feelings.
Trying to go to sleep with racing thoughts about a million different scenarios is not the best way to end the day. I did this for countless nights, never sleeping through a night, and I’d be awake for 2-3 hours or more once I was awake. I never felt like I had enough sleep to get through my classes and work, plus I was really irritable.
Once I forced myself to think about my thoughts at the end of the day, why I may be having them and how I could change them, my thoughts were no longer racing every night before bed. (Maybe still sometimes during the day, though)
Here’s a list of some great websites that I’ve used to help control and ease my anxiety:
- The Thoughts Room – this website lets you type in anything you’re thinking about and it slowly vanishes off into the screen. I highly recommend using this site at night, comfy in bed with the lights off because it has calming music and and starry background, giving off a super calming aesthetic!
- Rainy Mood – simple as can be, it’s just a constant sound of rain and light thunder here and there. If my mind is racing, listening to this through headphones will force me to focus on the sound and attempt to visualize where this rain storm could be happening. This is great for distracting you from your own thoughts but I also love writing with this on in the background or putting it on if I’m trying to fall asleep (however, waves crashing is my #1 fave ambient sound!)
- Cutest lil game EVER! – I think this might be one of my favorite things on the internet, ever! It’s a super simple game where you click your mouse (or screen on mobile I’m assuming, haven’t tried there!) to stretch a giraffe’s neck so they can KISS all these other giraffe’s running towards it! It’s one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen and it immediately distracts me from whatever I was thinking about (be care not to do this when attempting to be productive!!)
So now you may be asking, well what does a self care routine include? In my opinion, it should be an allotted amount of time soon before you plan on going to sleep, or soon after waking up (even both if you want!) It can include starting with a daily skincare routine, putting lotion on, and then finishing with journaling or reading for a bit. However, it’s important that your self care routine involves what YOU enjoy, love, and find relaxing and calming – whatever that may be! Once you get in the hang of it and stick to the routine, I think you’ll start to feel much more comfortable with yourself and your mind.
Do you already have a self care routine? What does it involve? Do you think you want to create one after reading this? Let me know in the comments!