Life is crazy. I don’t know about anyone else, but my life this year consists of school, work, more school and the occasional actual meal.

Since most college students are constantly on the go during the week, and sometimes even on the weekends, it is crucial for us to take care of ourselves. Just half an hour each day doing something we enjoy might save our sanity in the long run.

Here are some easy ideas to take care of your mental and physical state of being.

Read a book

After flipping through hundreds of pages in a textbook each week, the last thing some students want to do is read. However, one of the best ways to escape the stresses of life is to immerse yourself in a really good book with an intriguing plot and fascinating characters.

Reading will help to give your mind a break and your imagination a chance to blossom. Plus, it costs almost nothing. You can check out a book from the library, borrow one from a friend or visit a secondhand bookstore and browse the shelves.

Watch a movie or TV show

Another way to distract yourself from the trenches of life is by watching movies or TV shows. There are a handful of decent streaming services for a reasonable price, including Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and Hulu.

I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t have at least one of these, and if you’re like me, you have all of them, plus a collection of DVDs. If not, there’s always Redbox which provides movie rentals for just $1 per day.

Play video games

Just like movies, a lot of video games explore a whole other world. You get to be a character in that world and try to accomplish something.

Some games are exciting, challenging and allow your competitive side to be free, like Mario Kart. Others are more relaxing and involve creation, like Animal Crossing.

Work out

Some people lift weights. Some run on a treadmill. Some take classes. No matter how it’s done, working out is a great way to relieve stress. Plus, it is doable without a gym membership.

You could go for a walk or jog, follow a yoga instructor on YouTube, run up and down the stairs to your apartment complex or practice a sport you love at the park.

Create a vibe

The most important aspect of self-care no matter what you’re doing is to create a vibe. Some people want to be hyped up, social and in broad daylight when they are doing something for themselves. For me, calming is the way to go.

My favorite thing is lighting a candle or turning on my essential oil diffuser in my bedroom. Add a heated blanket in the winter and it becomes the perfect sanctuary.

There are so many more ways to treat ourselves each week; all we have to do is find something we enjoy doing and allow ourselves to do it.

Yes, school is important. Yes, we need money for rent and groceries, but is it possible to spare just a little bit of time each day to give back to ourselves in the present moment?

Grad school, career, house ­—they’re all problems for future you. Maybe sometimes, we have to let them stay in the future and not bleed into the present.

Samantha DiMaio is a staff writer. Follow her on Twitter at @dimaio_samantha. 

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