Hey guys, this week is Self-Care Week at UofT. By definition, self-care involves the things you do to take care of your physical and mental health. This week is part of the University’s HealthyU Month, which is an entire month dedicated towards celebrating mental and physical health.
Although it may not be obvious at first, self-care is directly linked to academic success because reaching your goals becomes easier when you are healthy, physically and mentally. In the spirit of self-care week, here are some common self-care practices that can boost your academic potential.
Personal hygiene doesn’t just affect one’s physical health, it also affects mental health. Sometimes, a nice hot shower is all it takes to de-stress and relax. Here are some recommended hygiene practices:
- Brush your teeth two times a day (morning and night)
- Floss everyday
- Take a shower every 1-2 days
- Change your clothes daily
- Change your bed sheets and pillow cases every week
In addition to these, find hygiene practices that make you feel good. Personally, I love oil-pulling. Oil-pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice where you let coconut or sesame oil sit in your mouth for about 20 minutes each morning. This is supposed to absorb toxins and improve overall oral health. I oil-pull as a self-care practice because it improves my physical health and it makes me feel good by adding a sense of routine to my day.
The human body requires about 2L of water on a daily basis. Set up a system to ensure that you get enough H2O throughout the day.
The saying “you are what you eat” is quite accurate. Eating ramen for dinner for 4 days in a row seems convenient, but after a while, it begins to take a toll on your physical and mental health (trust me, I know!). Be sure to incorporate enough dairy, protein, fruits and veggies into your daily meals.The Canadian Food Guide is an excellent resource that helps explain what a balanced meal looks like.
Getting enough physical exercise is crucial to maintaining your psychical and mental health. Being active not only keeps you in shape, but it provides you with more energy and focus for when you study. Furthermore, being active doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to hit the gym. That’s just one of many ways of getting the required daily physical activity (30 minutes). As for me, I am a busy student who hates leaving my room. How do I get my daily dose of exercise? I turn up the music on my laptop and do 30 minutes of intense cardio dances.There’s no room for excuses! Find what works for you, and do it.
Sometimes, getting help can be the biggest step towards improving your physical and/or mental health. For example, getting a personal trainer can help you reach your fitness goals. This may be expensive, but consulting your doctor or nutritionist can be free and they can help you understand your personal nutritional needs to help you eat better. Reaching out for help can greatly simplify the process of reaching your goals. The university understands this, and has put in place many services to help you!
- The Health And Wellness Centre offers a variety of services catered towards helping you improve your physical and mental health
- MoveU at Hart House can help you incorporate physical activity into your daily life
- The Academic Success Centre offers a variety of programs and services catered towards helping students develop strategies to improve their self-awareness and academic performance.
In the spirit of this week, I have freed up my schedule for this Friday so I can make it in time for the Academic Success Centre’s drop-in hours. I have three midterms back-to-back next week and I really need help de-stressing and exam prepping. I will let you guys know how my meeting with the learning strategist goes.
That’s it for this week! And remember, self-care week is about raising awareness of these self-care techniques. In reality, you should be practicing good self-care every week. I’d love to hear about your favourite self-care tips, so be sure to comment below!
Until next time,