Student Life

February 14, 2019

Easy Ways to Practice Self Love this Valentine’s Day

Students in Red Square with ValentinesValentine’s Day is known for a lot of things—roses and chocolate, to name just a few. It’s a day to celebrate significant others, family, and friends, but it’s also a great opportunity to remind yourself to practice some self-love as well. With the gloom of winter weather, the stress of midterms season, and finals seemingly right around the corner, there’s never been a better time to take a little better care of yourself. Not sure where to begin? Try starting with a few of these ideas.

Detox your social media feeds

Social media has been the center of a lot of controversy lately; love it or hate it, comparison culture, FOMO, and the pressure to make your life appear perfect are undeniably issues of our generation. If your own feed is triggering any feelings of stress or anxiety, it might be time to take a look at who you’re following or what posts show up while you scroll. Unfollowing or unfriending someone might feel awkward, especially if they’re a friend, so instead try just muting some Instagram stories or unfollowing people on Facebook so their posts won’t pop up every time you open those apps. Not only will this help stop comparison culture, you might even cut down on daily time you spend on social media since you’re not wading through content that you’re not interested in.

Check your caffeine habits

I know, I know—this can seem impossible at best, and blasphemous at worst. Whether you’re brewing your own coffee at home, stopping by a campus Starbucks, or using energy drinks to get an extra boost, caffeine can seem like a necessity just to get it all done. However, too much caffeine can mimic anxiety symptoms like nervousness or a racing heartbeat. If you’re already stressed, that’s the last thing you need—not to mention it can wreak havoc on your sleep habits. Check in on whether you’re drinking those 2 or 3+ cups a day out of necessity or habit. Do you really need the caffeine boost or do you just like the taste? The cozy feeling of a hot beverage on a cold day? Think about trying decaf after lunch or branching out to try matcha or chai.

Stretch

After hours of class, group project meetings, and studying, it’s no surprise if you feel stiff or sore at the end of the day. Taking ten or fifteen minutes to stretch can help shake off that tension and leave you feeling infinitely more relaxed. Not only will you be less tense, but it can lead to better posture and even better sleep.

Students Relaxing in Red Square

Schedule something you’ll look forward to

Some weeks are rougher than others, and these mid-quarter, dead-of-winter weeks can feel like the roughest of all. One of the best ways to motivate yourself to make it through the endless grind is putting something on your calendar you can look forward to. A bright spot you know is coming up in the future will make the Ode study sessions in the present just a little more bearable. Commitment is key—book a spin class in advance online, get movie tickets, or make plans with a friend to go to Volunteer Park. Accountability will mean you actually take time off from studying, working, or, let’s be honest, even just re-watching Parks & Rec on Netflix for the umpteenth time.

Say no to something

After the last tip this might seem a little counterintuitive, but having time to say yes to things you love usually means having to say no to something else. If your Google Calendar is starting to look like a rainbow kaleidoscope of colors, appointments, and commitments, maybe it’s time to create a little white space—literally and figuratively. Everyone needs to unwind every now and then, and that free time can free up some mental space as well.

Make a go-to playlist

We all have certain songs that always make us feel better, so why not put them all in one place for when a bad day or a late afternoon slump hits? Throw anything on there that always puts you in a good mood—upbeat jams that always make you feel better, any soundtracks that hype you up, or even some middle school throwbacks. A better day is only some headphones and a push of a button away.

Valentine’s Day might be just a day in February, but these are habits you can carry throughout the year to make getting through those classes and extracurriculars just a little easier.


Hannah headshot

Student Life blogger Hannah M. is a UW senior studying Marketing and English who is also involved with the American Marketing Association and Her Campus UW. When not pitching, writing or editing blog posts for UWSL, you’re likely to find her making PowerPoint presentations for a case competition or ordering a vanilla latte on the Ave. To suggest a topic for the UWSL blog, email dawglife@uw.edu.