Sustainable self-care: small steps to take in everyday life without making too many sacrifices

When you have a lot going on, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself - but self-care doesn't have to be as complex as you think

Alice Saunders
6th March 2023
Image Credit: Unsplash
Everyone has their own way of defining self-care. I like to think of self-care as simply being kind to yourself.

We all have good days and bad days. Sometimes you don’t want to get out of bed. That’s okay. On those days, just taking a shower is enough and that is a form of self-care. There are small things you can do that don’t have to be expensive or time consuming. You don’t have to take up yoga or start mediation. If that’s what floats your boat then great, but of course everyone is different. Here are some little things you can do to help look after yourself.

Exercise and enjoying the outdoors – if you’re short on time or not a fan of going to the gym, why not take a walk? Newcastle has so many lovely parks. If you’ve got an extra five minutes, stroll through the park and grab a (insert favourite drink here) on your way to a lecture. At home? Get your Spotify on and dance to your favourite song. Music is good for the soul.

Life is stressful, especially for university students. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. This is completely normal.

Calm your mind – life is stressful, especially for university students. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. This is completely normal. It’s important to recognise when you’re starting to feel this way and what you can do to relax. Step away from your laptop. Put your phone down. Give yourself twenty minutes and get a snack, watch an episode of your favourite TV show, or listen to a podcast. Find something small and simple to give your mind a break.

Slow down and be okay with saying no – this is something a lot of us (me included) struggle with. We make so many plans that we wind up trying to cram too much into our days and either end up exhausted or having to cancel. It’s okay to say no.

We make so many plans that we wind up trying to cram too much into our days and either end up exhausted or having to cancel. It’s okay to say no.

I’ll leave you with three small things I do that can really make a difference. One – make your bed every morning. Two – set your alarm ten minutes earlier than you need to. When it goes off, don’t get up, just lie still. Three – end your shower with a minute of cold water. Self-care is individual: try different things, find what works for you, and remember that the simplest things are often the best.   

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