Lifestyle

Student tips: how the power of a list can help you practice self-care

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Humanity Hallows Issue 5 Out Now

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By Simran Kaur Takhi 


If you’ll pardon the cliche here, self- care is exactly what is says on the tin: to take the time out to reflect and care for oneself.  As simple as it sounds, it’s alarming that many young people do not practise this.

For students, assignment deadlines, looming exams and perhaps having to balance a part- time job are factors that can completely  dominate our lives. It is for this reason that it’s easy to see why many students do not engage in self-care practices. Having to deal with the academic pressures of university may result in putting mental wellbeing last and academic responsibility first which, in reality, may be counterproductive to being successful.

Feminist writer Caitlin Moran recently stressed the importance of self-care on her Youtube channel: “Pretend you are your own baby. You would never cut that baby, or starve it… Your body wants to live, that’s all and everything it was born to do. Let it do that, in the safety you provide it.”

This is a perfect encapsulation of self-care: to be you own baby. As someone who is susceptible to depressive episodes from time to time, I have found that engaging in small, day to day practices contributes towards maintaining my wellbeing. In this post, I have listed a few ways I make use of lists which I find helps me stay positive, in the hope that some readers might also benefit from these.

This is not to say that engaging in self-care practices acts as  some sort of holy grail treatment for alleviating serious mental health issues but rather, regard these practices as tips that can help contribute towards general state of positivity.

List your past successes

Big or small, they deserve to be noted. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling useless or that you haven’t done enough. Whether this be related to something academic or more personal, reflecting on your past successes may act as a source of comfort and reassurance.  Documenting past and recent achievements can act as a powerful motivator to adding  more contributions to it. Never underestimate the power of a list!

A list of positivity

Good assignment feedback?  Much needed holiday coming up? Finally got that job interview? LIST THEM. It’s always good practice to note down everything and anything positive that’s happening in your life as a method of delivering yourself positive reinforcement. It may prove useful for times in your life when things may not seem positive.

A mini self-progress report

A self-progress report refers to noting down what you’ve accomplished after every study session. This can be particularly helpful for anyone who feels guilty about spending hours studying but still feels as if nothing has been done. I find taking note of what has been accomplished and perhaps, comparing it to previously made to do list, may provide some assurance. Think of it as a study bank where you can document what you have achieved to reassure yourself that you are working towards your goals.


 

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Simran Takhi

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