College can be a lot of fun, but there is no denying that it can be a difficult road. When you’re feeling exhausted (mentally, physically, or emotionally), it’s important to prioritize self-care. Here are some ways to take care of yourself when college life gets stressful.

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  1. Get enough sleep. The average adult needs 6-8 hours of sleep a night in order to function best. Everyone is different of course (for example, I tend to need closer to 9 hours whereas my husband thrives on 5-6 hours), so finding your perfect sleep schedule may take a little trial and error. Try to avoid electronic devices within an hour of going to bed, as the light from laptops, smart phones, etc., may prevent you from falling asleep right away. If you’re naturally a light sleeper, it may help to try some sort of white noise while you’re trying to sleep. Try sleeping with a fan on (it doesn’t have to be pointed at you if you get cold easily) or even investing in a white noise machine. If you find the sound of rain soothing, check out rainymood.com.
  1. Go outside. It is easy to stay inside (especially in the winter), but going outside is a great mood booster. Spending even five minutes outside can greatly improve your mood. Try taking a short walk or bike ride or even just sit outside and enjoy the day.
  1. Set aside time to relax. Think of something that makes you feel calm and relaxed. Is it reading a good book? Yoga? Sports? Video Games? Crocheting? Set aside a short window of time to do those things regularly. Even if your schedule is packed, setting aside some time just for you will make it much easier to accomplish all your other tasks.
  1. Prioritize your loved ones. Ideally you should always be able to spend lots of time with people that you like (and you should if you are able to), but there are some times when that just isn’t possible. When you’re swamped with projects and deadlines, take a little bit of time to reach out to your friends and family. Send a short text, contact them on social media, or talk to them briefly on the phone. It may not seem like much, but reminding yourself of the people on ‘Team You’ can be a huge mood booster.
  1. Check out what your campus offers for student support. Many colleges offer mental health services and other support for free or for reduced prices. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, check and see if your school has a counseling center. Sometimes when you’re going through a stressful time, it can help to have a professional put your challenges into perspective.

What are some ways that you take care of yourself during the school year? Leave them in the comments below!