Easy self-care practices for coping with stress

With the new semester in full swing, it’s nearly impossible not to get overwhelmed by the number of deadlines on the horizon. 

In the midst of all this stress, we often forget about self-care. Taking mental moments is essential to meet all of our goals, whether they are academic or personal.

Here are 10 simple and quick self-care habits to work into your routine:

Write down one thing you love about yourself each day

Acknowledging your worth and reflecting on your strengths will lift your spirits, making the stresses of everyday life easier to deal with. We all have our ways of making ourselves feel better. For example, a jar full of little compliments to read can cheer you up if your day isn’t going as planned.

Go for a walk

Something as simple as getting up and moving around does wonders for your physical and mental health. It gives your mind a break from school and work so you can focus on you.

Try making a music playlist specifically for your strolls. There’s nothing like jamming to your favourite songs to ease your stress.

Just five minutes from campus is the Allan Gardens Conservatory. The plush green interior is a great place to clear your head. As an escape from the city, you can pretend you’ve taken an impromptu tropical vacation.

Pamper yourself and watch a movie

Change into some comfy pyjamas, put on a face mask or whatever makes you feel good.  According to Glamour, some great movies to watch when you need to relax are Clueless, Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Nutty Professor and Finding Dory.

Have a dance party

When it comes to needing a pick-me-up, putting on your headphones and dancing in your room works every time. It’s okay to plead guilty to dancing to Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega and Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners.

Bake or cook something

Look up some easy recipes and go wild! Creating something keeps your mind working, and you end up with a delicious snack.

If you want to do your body an extra favour, try experimenting with some healthy recipes. The healthy Buddha bowl combines your favourite foods into one divine dish. Check out some awesome recipes here.


Psychotherapist and author of One Thing at a Time, Cindy Glovinsky, says your brain can solve problems easier when there’s order in your life. In a clean space, your brain can concentrate on what needs to be done instead of focusing on the mess in your room.

Go through your closet and make piles of the things you want to keep and the things you want to give away. Do this with your old birthday cards, or pens that don’t work anymore. Something about throwing away old items makes me feel so renewed and motivated.

Stretch or go to a yoga class

Stretching and yoga are great ways to either start your day off right, or de-stress after your day’s gone wrong. A zen yoga studio you should check out is Downward Dog on Queen Street West. With a valid student ID, it’s $15 per class and first-time visitors can get a 30 day pass for $45.

If you’d rather do some at-home exercises, try YouTube. There are so many yoga and stretching videos that will relax your muscles and your mind. Videos from Blogilates and Yoga with Adriene are some of my favourites.

Talk to someone

Ryerson offers a variety of mental health services, including group or individual counselling, community support groups and referral services. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance with any aspect of your life. These services are put in place with the sole purpose of helping you and ensuring that you are getting the best possible experience at Ryerson.

Try something new

This could be as simple as trying a new hairstyle or makeup look. Try a new food item, read a new book, watch a new movie, knit something — try something you’ve always wanted to do. Get creative, and regardless of how big or small your project is, you will grow as a person and you might find a new passion to pursue.

Laugh every day

Laughter is the best medicine and it makes you realize how precious life really is. Watch a funny YouTube video, look at awful memes on Instagram or that one time you fell up the stairs (which is something I always manage to do). Whatever makes you laugh, do it, because that smile of yours is pretty spectacular.