The self-care phenomenon has taken social media by storm, becoming the new "it" priority. Recently NPR chalked it up as yet another millennial "obsession." But aside from all those awkward facemask Instagram selfies, millennials may actually be onto something.
Self-care has proven benefits that go deeper than beauty — like diminishing burnout and improvement of overall in mental, physical, and emotional health. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that millennials reported making more personal improvement commitments than any other generation before them.
Of course, self-care isn't exactly budget friendly to the average college kid. With the common "broke college student" narrative, a lot of full-time students can't afford the luxuries of expensive exercise classes, life coaching consultations, and over-priced charcoal peel off masks.
Millennials shouldn't sacrifice their self-care routines — taking care of yourself is essential as college becomes overwhelming. The pressures of college can create dangerous levels of stress as many students take on jobs and internships on top of classes. College depression is at a record high, according to surveys from the American College Counseling Association, which noted a steady increase of students reporting issues with their mental health.
Self-care shouldn't be ignored. These tips are intended to make things a little more easier on your life — and wallet.
Coach your own life
Life coaching definitely has its benefits. A Stanford University study found that students who were coached by phone, email, and text messages were 15 percent more likely to stay in school. But the true fact of the matter is, even a one-hour life coaching phone call will run you about $100-200. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on online life coaching consultations, opt for a few life changing practices daily. Grab a journal and write down your semester plans, invest in an academic planner, and listen to your favorite motivational podcast. Make a conscious effort to change your thinking daily without spending loads of money on a "success coach."
Do it yourself spa
It's important to make time for a little pampering within your hectic schedule. Grab a few friends and a few inexpensive ingredients and get to work on an all-natural face mask.
A few quick suggestions:
Calming honey mask
2 teaspoons of honey
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 wedge of fresh lemon
Milk mask (great for blemishes)
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of nutmeg
2 tablespoons of milk
Declutter your mind
Everyone needs a little zen time in their life. Schedule some time to step away from your busy schedule and declutter mentally and physically. Mental Decluttering is essential for a successful college semester that won't leave you insane during finals week. Take time to write out your thoughts, meditate, or just go for a walk. Create a space for all the essential tasks and eliminate the non-essential tasks that leave you worrying. As for physically decluttering, give a little tender love and care to your dorm or apartment and actually clean it. A clean space is necessary for a non-stressful environment — who can really be relaxed if they haven't seen their floor in a month? This will overall create a zen space to effectively dominate tasks throughout the semester without going nuts.
Hair and nail care
One of the major downers of out-of-state living is having to find a new salon who you trust. Personal care is important and having your friend bleach your hair is just too risky. Instead, try to gain advice from an experienced upperclassman or browse through Instagram hashtags to find great salons in your schools' area. Also be sure to ask salons about college student discounts — it's worth a try, and they just might give you a break.
Faith Riggs is an editorial intern at Metro Times.