“Life is short, dump them”
If you still think that self-care means ‘treating yourself’, you may want to get out of the consumer mode and start actually taking care of yourself by holding yourself accountable and analyzing your patterns. Don’t expect a spa-treatment to solve your burn-out. Why should you feel the need to ‘escape’ from your daily life when you can make your daily life something you won’t want to escape from?
Here is what self-care means for me:
Setting realistic goals with deadlines. Don’t throw yourself immediately in a ‘I’m gonna wake up every morning at 6 and do a lot of things’. Take a big goal and divide it in smaller goals: if you really want to wake up at 6, try to wake up at 6:45 on the first days and, as the days are passing, reduce your alarm with 15 minutes to reach the 6 AM you wanted.
Resting. Consciously. You can do this either by sleeping, meditating, reading something not related to Uni or having a silly talk with a friend.
Saying ‘no’ - to toxic friends, work places, even family members. Pull yourself out of environments that don’t allow you to grow and invest more time and energy in yourself.
Keeping a diary. The word diary can have a childish aura around it, but a diary can be anything you want: an agenda, a word document, an album of photos or post-it’s. Just keep track of personal achievements, either small or big - and take into consideration that what seems small now can make a big difference in the future. Plus, a diary can be a nice confidence boost in the future.
Being careful with money. I am all about ‘carpe diem’, but I am sure you don’t want to still pay rent when you’re 50. You can find many financial tricks on the internet and I agree some of them can be a bit too much for a student, but some saving every month won’t hurt you. Open a spreadsheet and think about how much money you spend in a month: put down your rent, food, stuff for personal hygiene and household, transportation, going out, clothes, and any other unexpected spending (drugs for a cold, for example).
You may not remember everything you bought, so looking into your bank app can be of help. There is no point of feeling pressured about this: just write down for at least a month everything you buy to see your pattern of spending money. Then analyze what you can cut off (you’d be surprised how many unnecessary things you buy) and open a savings account. Or just an old piggy bank.
Reducing the Social Media time. I hope I don’t need to explain this one.
Physical activity (at least 50 min/day) - No further explanation needed either.
Lastly, but not the least - Patience. Trust yourself and the process you’re going through. Give yourself credit and keep in mind that everything you do now determines what kind of person you will become. Face your bad habits and just dump them.