Top 10 Ways to Create the Best Version of You

It’s natural to feel stressed out or overwhelmed; we, as college students, manage anywhere up to 18 credits of courses each semester, work part or full time jobs, maintain extracurriculars, family, social lives and more. Because we have so much on our abysmal plates, we need to put all of it aside sometimes and enjoy the creative outlets of life. Managing stress is vital to finding your peace and rhythm. Therefore, here are 10 things that will help to make you feel like the best version of yourself while dealing with all of your daily responsibilities — we’re young, let us enjoy ourselves and learn to live better! 

1. Read for fun. Wait — Who reads for fun? Well, I do, and you should too! With reading comes a sense of power; when you read, you fulfill your mind with new knowledge, like higher vocabulary, the ability to empathize, improved communication skills and more. Delving into a good book, an interesting magazine, an informed newspaper or any other form of literature you might prefer is one enjoyable way you can help yourself to de-stress, recenter and enter a whole new realm for a little while. Perhaps you can try setting a weekly or monthly leisurely reading goal for yourself to manage your stress and improve your quality of life. Try it, you might like it!

2. Create art. Art comes in infinite forms; find your favorite — there are so many options! Indulging in art can look something like painting, drawing, writing, journaling, scrapbooking, sewing, photography, crocheting, digital art — you can even take up coloring on the doodling pages located here in The Oracle! Having creative freedom and expressing yourself through art can be such a destresser and a great way to relax, let loose and create something beautiful and fun. What will you create? 

3. Exercise! Everyone can benefit from some fresh air and movement breaks throughout the day. If you enjoy sports, pick one up with some friends! Attending a gym is also a fun way to blow off some steam. We do pay mandatory fees that cover the gym expenses, after all — put it to good use! Taking a beautiful walk around campus is also a great alternative. Making sure to give yourself some time allotted per day to get your blood flowing, get fresh air in your lungs and build up your strengths is a great way to manage stress and feel more accomplished. What will you opt for: a new sport, a gym partner or a scenic walk?

4. Eating right. Staying properly hydrated and having an on-hand water bottle will help you focus way more than Starbucks could. Forget the caffeine — remember your water! Make sure you are fulfilling a nutritious diet; it will make you feel way better. It is easy to slip our minds as college students, but looking out to make sure you are feeding yourself the proper nutrients you need to survive is very important to feel your very best. Did you drink water today? Here is your reminder!

5. Find a new style! Mixing and matching clothes, hairstyles, makeup, shoes and accessories is a fun way to represent yourself and feel comfortable with who you are. Feeling confident in the way you see yourself and the way you are perceived can be an instant stress reliever, as you have one less worry on your plate. That being said …What style will you try out next?

6. Socialize! Spending time with your favorite people, whether that be family or friends, is so important to your growth and happiness. Set aside time to laugh, play, have fun and catch up with those around you. Life moves a mile a minute, meaning you can’t waste it getting caught up in other ordeals. Enjoy the people around you — they need some happiness too! 

7. Listen to music. Music is like a cure-all. There is something for everyone! Put in some headphones or blast your speakers out. Go crazy! Putting on your favorite tunes can be an instant mood lifter — I highly recommend it. Your mind needs a break every now and then, so be generous and feed it some rockin’ tunes when you get a chance. What’s your go-to jam?

8. Celebrate! Recognize all of your wins- even the little ones! Rewarding yourself and being proud of your accomplishments will make you feel even happier about all that you have done thus far. It may even help motivate you to accomplish even greater things. Take a breath, smile and be proud of yourself! You deserve it. 

9. Find your place. Everyone’s got their favorite place to hang out, right? Perhaps a hammock, a certain seat in the library or under a favorite tree calls your name. Whatever it might be, there’s a place for everyone; finding yours can come naturally. Just listen to yourself. Find that spot and grab your book, laptop or a snack and have at it, Hawks!

10. Pick up a new hobby. Well, we’ve already talked about art, reading, exercise and music, but there are so many fun things you can pick up as a relaxing or even challenging hobby to relieve some stress. Everyone can benefit from trying out a new sport, instrument, art medium or other creative outlet. Furthermore, sharing that hobby with others is a great way to connect with others and make lifelong friendships. Which hobby are you interested in trying?