Depending on your individual new year goals you may be planning to work harder on assignments, become more organised or to actually make it to those dreaded 9am lectures. Regardless of your current goals for this term, I’m going to suggest that a great ‘new term resolution’ for everyone is to practice self-love!
At university it is easy to feel under pressure from different areas of your life to perform all of the duties the world requires of you. And if you’re a fresher, you may still be adjusting to independent living without a ‘real adult’ taking care of you. Let’s explore some ways we can all work on loving ourselves, even when we’re preoccupied with assignments, societies and work.
- Give yourself a break. Don’t run yourself into the ground by taking on more than you can handle. University is an exciting and busy time and it’s natural to want to make the most of the university experience.However, don’t put yourself under too much pressure to do everything. Occasionally you just need to say no to that extra shift or night out before a busy day of lectures.
- Forgive yourself. This one is really important as loving yourself shouldn’t be conditional. Everyone messes up sometimes and we all deserve to care for ourselves regardless. So if you get a bad grade in an assignment or you accidentally sleep in and miss a lecture, don’t punish yourself for it. Instead, focus your energies on picking yourself up and aim to do better next time. It’s never too late to turn things around.
- Do something fun and stupid. Even if you’re bogged down with essays, lab reports or revision, try to find the time to do something fun, just because. You’re never too busy to make paper aeroplanes, play jenga or to prank your flatmate. Laughter relieves stress and sooths tension so if the pressure is getting too much then go ahead and treat yourself to one of these more fun alternatives to stress balls.
- Celebrate your achievements. Never hesitate to feel unashamedly happy and proud when you do something well. This doesn’t have to be a giant accomplishment as no achievement is too small to be celebrated. It’s 100% acceptable to have a mini internal celebration after you get your ‘five a day’ for a week, have a successful gym session or finally complete that annoying errand you’ve been putting off for days. Why not have an experiment and drop ‘yay’ in your vocabulary more regularly?
- Do what makes you happy. Of course, this sounds ridiculously obvious and easy – but sometimes, when you’re feeling stressed or bogged down with work, it can take a certain amount of motivation to find the energy to continue doing what makes you happy. For example try not to starve yourself of human company or proper meals during busy periods.
- Talk about your problems. It’s not fair on you to bottle up your own problems and allow them to consume you. Chat to a friend or family member about what you’re going through, even if you think it sounds silly or unimportant. Even if they cannot resolve the issue, sometimes it can just help to get it off of your chest. Your feelings matter!
- Speak to yourself nicely. The power of language cannot be underestimated and the way you talk to/about yourself has a huge impact. Never be afraid to look at yourself in the mirror to tell yourself you’re great – and if you’re feeling negative about yourself try writing a list of your life achievements, your positive qualities or things you are capable of doing. There’s nothing quite like a little ego boost from you to you.
So this year let’s try new things, overcome our fears and accomplish our goals but most of all, let’s never forget to love ourselves!