15 free acts of self-care!

16 November 2017

It’s self-care week so SSW have put together some ideas on how you can look after yourself for free.

Hot chocolate, candle, fluffy rug

Actions of self-care look after you to ensure the development and protection of your health and wellbeing.

Prioritising your own needs isn’t always an easy thing to do. Focusing on self-care can be especially challenging for students, as day-to-day rhythms are flooded with too much to do and not enough time.

We have put together some obvious, and not-so-obvious ideas of how you can maintain your wellness without spending a penny.

1. Write down what you're grateful for

We get used to the good things in our life, but consciously appreciating them can make us happier. Try writing three things you are grateful for each evening or morning and see if it makes a difference to your day.

2. Oxygenate by taking three deep breaths

Breathe into your abdomen, and let the air puff out your stomach and chest. The simple act of becoming aware of your breath can help you to feel instantly more grounded and calm.

3. Drink more tap water

We all know that hydration is key to feeling good – but we often forget to drink the recommended amount. Millions of tests are conducted annually to guarantee the best possible quality of water for consumers. That makes tap water the most supervised drink out there.

4. Take a quick nap

Ten to twenty minutes can reduce your sleep debt and leave you ready for action. Try not to go over 20 minutes to avoid feeling groggy!

5. Write out your thoughts

Take quick notes on anything that is bothering you. Then let it go as you throw the paper in the bin.

6. Be still

Sit somewhere green and take out your headphones for 10 minutes. Can you hear birds or trees? Practice being fully immersed in the present moment.

7. Unplug for an hour

Switch everything to airplane mode and free yourself from the constant beeps of social media and Whatsapp.

8. Edit your social media feeds

Take out any negative people. You can just “mute” them; you don’t have to delete them.

9. Imagine you’re your best friend

If you were your best friend, what would you tell yourself right now? Look in the mirror and say it.

10. Find unexpected beautiful things

Use opportunities when your mind wonders, such as in lecture halls or on the bus, and look for things you can see that are beautiful.

11. Get laughing!

Watch comedy clips on YouTube or listen to a comedy podcast.

12. Check-in with your emotions

Sit quietly and just name without judgment what you’re feeling.

13. Help someone

Carry a bag, open a door, or give up your seat on the tube.

14. Check-in with your social life

Have an honest discussion with yourself about the people you are spending your time with and how they are making you feel.

15. Laundry

Wash your clothes, dry them and put them away. Wash your bed sheets - maybe put on a different set if you have one.

It's normal to feel down, anxious or stressed from time to time, but if these feelings affect your daily activities, including your studies, or don't go away after a couple of weeks, make an appointment with your GP.

Rachel Kempsell, UCL Student Support and Wellbeing