A self-care guide for easing into autumn

It may have taken over social media one hashtag at a time, but self-care is more than candles and facemasks. In the aftermath of Freshers’ Week and the comedown from summer, here are The Student’s suggestions of five ways to look after mind, body, and spirit.

Check in with yourself: Have you eaten actual food recently, or just the free slices of Domino’s Pizza? Have you had a glass of water? In the mania of Freshers’ Week, it’s easy to forget to take care of your body. To be on top-form for work and play, make sure you get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast, get some fresh air and drink something other than a Jägerbomb.

Temporarily deactivate social media accounts: When we feel anxious or stressed, it’s easy to turn to the cheap thrills of likes and follows to make ourselves feel better. However, this can turn into hours spent scrolling through other people’s lives, wishing we were someone/somewhere/something else. As the saying goes, ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ – so remove yourself from the vicious cycle and disappear for a while.

Leave your bedroom: After Freshers’ Week, in particular, it’s tempting to hide under the duvet with the entire 10 seasons of Friends. Ironically, you won’t make any friends if you do this, so try to seek out societies, which meet throughout the week. If you can’t face socialising, make use of the beautiful green spaces in Edinburgh; from climbing Arthur’s Seat to sitting with a book in the Meadows, there is somewhere for everyone.

Practice gratitude: You are a student at one of the best universities in the world! There are so many opportunities to take! The sun rises every morning! Taking stock of the little things can put you on the path to enjoying the everyday. After all, if life gives you lemons… make some funky flavoured Irn Bru.

Finally: don’t be afraid to reach out: If you’re worried about your mental or physical health, utilise the brilliant support the university can offer. Nightline can be reached from 8pm to 8am on 0131 557 4444. Student Counselling is available for a range of issues – the Student Counselling Service is based on the third floor of the Main Library and you can make an appointment online if you need it. Advisors at the Chaplaincy and the Advice Place are available for a more informal chat. You’re not alone in this.

Image: Jenni Douglas via Flickr

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