In academics and life in general, it is possible to neglect your self-care and allow the small things to fall through the cracks.  If you’re finding it difficult to focus in school and push yourself mentally and/or physically, it may be time to evaluate how you are handling these self-care aspects of your life:

1.     Sleep

Getting enough rest is critical to both mental and physical performance.  Although individuals vary in the amount of sleep they require, most young adults need 7-9 hours a night.  Although naps are a great way to refresh yourself mentally, avoid taking naps after 3pm to avoid interfering with your normal sleep cycle.

2.     Diet 

A varied diet is critical to maintaining health, physical strength, and mental alertness.  If you find yourself dosing off in class, it may not necessarily be a lack of sleep, but a lack of blood sugar.  Ensure you’re eating three meals a day with appropriate snacking between them.  Everyone varies in their caloric requirements (genetics, activity level, age, etc…), so make sure you figure out what sized portions are the best for you.

3.     Listen to your body

Your body will tell you if you’ve overdone things or if you’re ill. If you feel over exerted, it may be time to take active stress relief measures like meditation or participating in a favorite hobby.  With practice, you will be able to handle more and more of a workload, but so don’t be afraid to push yourself a little. Additionally, a sick day for the right reasons may be appropriate.  Everyone gets sick at least occasionally and it is up to you to make the best decisions for your health.  Sitting in class with a fever or feeling nauseous may make note taking or focusing impossible and put others at risk for catching the bug.

Though school and extracurricular activities can be all-consuming at times, it is always important to put self-care at a top priority. Your physical and mental well-being is of utmost value and it must be cared for.

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