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*This is a guest article*

The idea of self-care is one that has been around forever, but during the pandemic it has never been so important. As a nation we have hunkered down over the past year, with limited options for our usual methods of self-care like the spa, gym or local pub, and minimal ways to really “let go” of daily stresses. And let’s face it, the pandemic has left everyone feeling pretty stressed, anxious and afraid.

But we’re a year on, and as we travel along the pathway back to “the old normal” we don’t want to forget about the importance of self-care. Particularly, if you are a student living away from home in student accommodation in Bolton.

If you’re struggling with the idea of going back to normal, we’re here to help with our guide to self-care during university.

What do we mean by ‘self-care’?

Self-care can look different to different people, but at its core it’s very much the same thing. WHO defines self-care as “the ability to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability” – in other words, self-care is literally the act of caring and looking after yourself, in whatever way you see fit.

Whilst self-care can take on a much more necessary, medical role – it can also encompass those little everyday things such as having a bath, reading a book or making a healthy meal. Something that sparks joy, relaxation and positively impacts either your body or your mind.

But why is self-care so important for university students?

The truth is that uni life can be tough. For most students living in student accommodation in Bolton for the first time, the adjustment from living with parents to being independent can be a hard one. And that’s before we get onto the other stresses of being a student such as studies, exams and meeting new friends.

Everything from regular late nights and too much screen time to too many take away meals can leave you feeling under the weather, drained and unproductive. Add to the equation a global pandemic, and it’s no wonder why the promotion of self-care has been on the rise.

So, in answer to the question of why students in particular – we say why not? With so much responsibility on students’ shoulders, we couldn’t think of a better target audience for a proper self-care routine.

Putting your best foot forward

It’s no secret that the key to a good day often lies within a productive and positive morning routine. Now we’re not saying that you need to be up at 5am doing your morning meditation or sipping on your 5th pint of ice water by 10am. But having a few, manageable and enjoyable steps to look forward to each morning can help to get you into the right frame of mind for a great day. Here are three morning tips we live by:

  1. Getting up early is great, but it’s important you find the right time of the day for you. Don’t set yourself an impossible goal if you know you won’t be able to achieve it every day.
  2. The next big component to a successful morning is a hearty meal. It doesn’t have to be an impressive culinary masterpiece that you’ve spent hours cooking, but it should be balanced and filling. A good combo of protein, carbs and healthy fats is a great place to start, and if you can make it in bulk the night before – then even better!
  3. Finally, lay off the caffeine when you first wake up! Coffee and sunrise go hand in hand, right? Well, that isn’t necessarily true. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it can leave you feeling pretty dehydrated – which is the last thing our body needs when we first wake up. We advise having a water first thing to replenish the water lost during sleep – and then you can consider your caffeine options!
Reduce screen time throughout the day

Going to the loo? Don’t forget your phone! Making a brew? Time for a cheeky scroll!

Are we making our point?

As a generation we’re pretty addicted to our phones and whilst this may not always necessarily be a harmful thing, it can lead to increased levels of anxiety. Social media isn’t always a positive place and as students can spend up to NINE hours on different social platforms every day – it’s no wonder why many are struggling to stay positive come bed time.

If you’re a screen addict, start off small. Instead of picking your phone up the moment you wake up, spend 30 minutes to an hour doing something else first. And when it comes to winding down at the end of the day, it is advised that staying off your phone, laptop or tablet up to an hour before you get your head down can really improve the quality of your sleep.

Drink water!

This isn’t revolutionary advice, and in fact it is something we are told ALL OF THE TIME. But do you do as your told when it comes to hydrating?

Drinking water can improve focus, reduce headaches, improve the appearance of the skin, reduce bloating and even aid weight loss. It is a pretty incredible liquid that we’re lucky to have easy access to here in the UK – so don’t let it go to waste.

Find a student accommodation in Bolton that feels like home

You can never underestimate the power of the environment for how you feel. A place that feels secure, comfortable and homely is much more likely to leave you feeling positive, settled and relaxed. So, if you are finding yourself rarely wanting to spend time in your student digs – perhaps it’s time to find a new student accommodation in Bolton that brings you joy.

Thank you for reading.