Self-Care Tips for Students

By Katie Llewellyn, Regent University

College is one of the most important and exciting seasons of life. That said, figuring out new systems for success can be stressful. Between balancing schoolwork, relationships, friendships, jobs and family life, it can seem like there is little to no time to take care of or invest in yourself. You can’t fire on all cylinders if you are running on empty. Here are a few practical ways to take care of yourself and practice self-care in college – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Physical Self Care
Prioritizing your health is crucial. Be intentional about caring for your physical health during your time in college to ensure you are getting the most out of your education. Studies have shown that skimping on sleep, having late bedtimes during weekdays and weekends and increased daytime sleepiness are negatively associated with academic performance in medical students. Set a bedtime and stick to it so you don’t end up so tired that your education suffers.

Physical self-care can be as simple as taking a walk to relax, attending an exercise class with friends, cooking yourself a nutritious meal, or making time to get your eight hours of sleep at night, but this is an investment that is absolutely worth it.

Mental Self Care
Learn to say “No.” If you find that you are overextending yourself, cut back on non-essential activities. Don’t feel bad about saying “No” to social functions or extracurricular activities when you find yourself worn too thin.

Protect your time. Take care of yourself by taking inventory of your time. Keep track of your class schedule, appointments, social events and how you are using your free time, and then figure out where you can free yourself up for more important things (like sleep). One example would be to set a timer when you use social media or Netflix so that you don’t end up awake until 2 a.m. each night.

Take time to do things that you enjoy. You don’t have to abandon your hobbies and interests in college. Listen to a podcast, audiobook or enjoyable music on your commute to and from class. Make time on the weekends to hang out with your family or friends. Work a fun elective into your schedule.

Emotional Self Care
Make sure you have community. It’s important to maintain a social life, even in the midst of balancing all your responsibilities. Whether it’s a club, church group or your family, spending time with your support system is crucial to your emotional wellbeing. Make time each week to be grab coffee or dinner with people who refresh you.

Keep a gratefulness journal. Each day, write down three things that you are thankful for. It is an easy way to reframe your perspective and help you see the good. You can use a physical journal, but your phone notes will work just as well.

Spiritual Self Care
Create time each week to spend on things that bring you joy or peace. Whether you like to journal, join a group or attend worship services, it is vital that you view to your spiritual health as being as worthy of attention as your physical health.

Remember: Self-care is as simple as doing one or two small things a week that you love. That is enough to make you feel refreshed and ready for the tasks ahead.

Regent University has 11,000 students studying online offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from a Christian perspective in more than 130 program areas. Regent University tops the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Virginia and is listed among top national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Visit us at