AS tertiary students, my friends and I have our hands full most of the time, with assignments to put together and events to prepare for and attend.
While living life on the fast lane, many of us often neglect self-care, which can lead to stress.
If not managed properly, stress can build up, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, which is detrimental to our overall well-being.
Therefore, it is important that we incorporate some activities into our daily routines to help us unwind and relax.
Here are five daily habits that keep me going.
Maintaining a regular exercise routine ensures that we are physically active. Any form of exercise will get our hearts pumping, which aids blood circulation to the brain and improves brain functions.
Regular exercise also improves our sleep quality, helping us feel more energised to carry out our daily activities.
It does not matter if it is a full-on gym session, some simple calisthenics at home, or even a 10-minute cardio.
I like taking some time out to break a sweat and be slightly out of breath, as it makes me feel refreshed and alive.
2. Going on a walk
Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, go outside and stroll around leisurely at any time of the day for at least half an hour. It might not seem like much but rather than being confined in our rooms for the whole day, getting some fresh air will make a world of difference.
It is important to take our time and focus on our breathing, enjoy the beauty of nature around us, and just allow ourselves to relax.
Even during weekends when I have no classes to attend or any errands to run, I make it a point to step out of the house and take a walk around my neighbourhood.
3. Listening to music
Music is a powerful tool that can set our moods for the day. It can be a helpful distraction, while boosting our productivity.
Generally, upbeat pop songs make us feel ready to conquer the world while soft and slow songs calm us down and soothe our nerves.
However, the choice of music is unique and specific to each individual as everyone has different music tastes, and different genres may have different effects on our emotions.
I have a collection of playlists of different genres and moods to match any situation that arises.
4. Chatting with friends
Friends play a significant role in our lives, especially when we are living far from home in an unfamiliar environment.
Good friends boost our happiness and self-esteem. Keeping in touch with them on a daily basis will help strengthen our friendships, as well.
Having someone to talk to, whether to vent or to have a casual chat, can provide the emotional support we need and help us cope with stress.
I have a couple of friends whom I can almost never go a day without talking to, and they are the ones I can count on to share my joys and sorrows.
Not only is cooking an essential skill to have, it is also a good stress reliever. Many see cooking as a chore, but having a meal prepared the way we like it by our own hands brings immense satisfaction, in turn alleviating stress.
Preparing our own meals also leads to a healthier lifestyle at a low cost, which is the optimum way of life for tertiary students. Cooking can also be a social activity as we gather our friends to cook and eat together, turning it into a fun bonding session.
I always have at least one homecooked meal a day.
Charis, 20, a student in Kuala Lumpur, is a participant of the BRATs Young Journalist Programme run by The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (Star-NiE) team. For more information, go to facebook.com/niebrats.