Self-care is so important, especially with a full course load at the University of South Florida. The way you set up your USF apartment can have an effect on your mood and mental wellbeing, so making a few adjustments to your space can be really beneficial. We've put together a list of six friendly tips for creating a self-care routine within the comfort of your student apartment and making your home the self-care paradise you deserve. We want to pause and take a moment, however, to encourage you to reach out to someone you know and trust and seek out a professional in the mental health field if you are struggling.
Distractions are everywhere! But you can carve out a section of your apartment as a no-distractions-allowed area to combat this. Without your phone buzzing every five minutes and the TV telling you to buy this and that, you can relax your mind and spend some time introspecting. Feel free to add some belongings like books or coloring books as long as they help cultivate peace. If you meditate or practice yoga, this is a great area for those activities. If the inside of your apartment is too busy, you can create this space on your balcony or patio if you have one.
Change up your lighting
Both an environment that is too dark or too bright, or artificial light (hello electronics!) can have adverse effects on your mood. If your space doesn't have enough natural light or the light you do have is too harsh, consider switching up the lighting! If you can find a way to optimize natural lighting by opening more window shades, that's best. However, if that's not an option try switching out fluorescent light bulbs for more natural hues or adding lamps with natural-light bulbs.
Many scents have proven physiological effects on the body and many times they are incredibly beneficial. For example, lavender and peppermint dampen anxiety and stress, and lavender is even useful for encouraging sleep. If you have a favorite scent that reminds you of happy memories, that nostalgia can help you de-stress too. So, break out a few candles and take some deep breaths. Just make sure you check your apartment's candle policy first!
Plants and Flowers
House plants, or in this case apartment plants, are really making waves in the home décor space. Not only are the beautiful, but they benefit your health by purifying the air. They also improve your productivity, reduce stress levels and boost mood. Who wouldn't want that? Pro-tip: if you live in a pet-friendly USF apartment, make sure you buy pet-safe plants. Just ask a worker at your local plant nursery for a few suggestions.
Open Up Your Space
Sometimes, a fresh start can help. While some commit to moving across the world or getting a daring haircut, you can get the same feeling by revamping your USF apartment. A few ways to breathe new life into your home could be rearranging furniture, decluttering and donating, or adding new throw pillows and blankets to switch up the color scheme and prepare for the colder months. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you check in with your roommates so you don't start a feud over the feng shui of the space.
Make Space for Hobbies
With the chaos of classes at the University of South Florida taking up most of your time, you may neglect things you love like making art or writing. Consider dedicating a section of your apartment to your craft by making a writing nook, a mini art studio or small home gym. Activities help us feel centered and productive, so dedicating space for them is a great step to take for your self-care.