This is Tokki’s first year of celebrating "Self-Care Awareness” month in September, which is a whole month dedicated to giving yourself the extra time and attention that you deserve. We want to use this month to encourage self-care practices for ourselves, but also to give you the tools you need to grow your loved one’s self-care “muscle”. The more we practice caring for ourselves, the better we can show up for the people around us.
September is the perfect time to be practicing self-care because for many it represents a transition period. College students are going back to campus, teachers are returning to remote learning, and high schoolers are trying to decide what their next move will be.
Transitions are hard and transitioning into the unknown can be downright terrifying. We are all trying to adjust to our new reality, and without knowing what the future holds, it might take a little extra time (and a little extra help). For many of us, this time has been used as a tool of reflection and allowed us to see how important self-care can be in times of stress. For others, it has been a time of simply trying to survive. Wherever you are in your self-care journey, Tokki is here to give you some tips on how to best support the students in your life this fall.
It might sound simple, but sleep can be one of the easiest ways to practice self-care. We’re all guilty of staying up a little too late to finish a project, but the lower sleep goes on our list of priorities, the harder it is to function in daily life. This is especially true for students, and unfortunately, students are at a higher risk of developing sleep disorders. In fact, a 2017 Neuropsychiatric study found that over 60% of college students suffer from poor sleep quality, and 7.7% met all criteria for an insomnia disorder.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual to commit to a solid sleep schedule. This being said, a little encouragement couldn’t hurt! Here are some tips and products that can help your student sleep soundly.
Invest in a Sound Machine
One simple way you can support your student is by getting them a white-noise machine, or something that can set a soothing tone come night-time. It’s surprising how much a little background noise can help restless sleepers.
This sound machine from Hatch is the all-in-one sleeping solution, and even connects to your phone so you can track your sleep habits. Hatch helps with your sleep journey every step of the way, so your student can finally get some rest.
Read a Book
Reading before bed is the perfect way to take your mind off things before shutting your eyes and has even been scientifically proven to help reduce stress come bedtime. Cognitive Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis found that ‘reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68 percent’. It was better than listening to music (61%), drinking tea or coffee (54%) and taking a walk (42%). It only took 6 minutes for participants’ stress levels to be reduced.
Drink Some Tea
Tea has been used for years as a natural remedy for anxiety and encourages sleep and relaxation. This Dream Catcher tea from Wild Bird Botanicals is brimming with rose petals, chamomile and lavender, perfect for achieving dreamy relaxation.
Fuel Your Body
To practice true self-care, we need to go back to the basics. What we eat and drink has a major effect on our physical health, of course, but it also has a lasting impact on our mental health and overall wellbeing.
Food That Makes You Feel Good
We’re all about balance here at Tokki, and it’s important to remember that foods shouldn’t be labeled as “bad” or “good”. Food should help us stay healthy and strong, but it should also keep us happy and satisfied. Self-care doesn’t necessarily mean eating healthy all the time but achieving a balance between healthy foods and rich indulgences is key.
Drink More Water
This is a good reminder for anyone and everyone! Staying hydrated is a key factor to keeping us healthy and having something to conveniently drink it out of can improve our intake greatly.
Something as simple as switching from a regular water bottle to one with a straw can make it that much easier to drink more water. Or, try getting your student a convenient tumbler cup! We included this one in our care package gift set so your student can stay hydrated.
Safety and Self-Care
Safety isn’t an aspect of self-care that many of us have had to think about, but with COVID-19 continuing to affect so many of us, keeping ourselves safe becomes one of the best ways to practice self-care.
When you think of safety, you might think of handwashing and six feet of distance, but we believe that safety doesn’t have to be boring! Our face masks make a perfect gift for your student and can help keep them safe and stylish this fall. Choosing the print that fits their personality is a lovely way to show you care, and each time they put it on they will be reminded of the importance of self-care. Plus—we have new college prints that can show off their school spirit!
A Self-Care Solution
Keeping these tips in mind, we have a gifting solution that makes it easy and sustainable to send your students all the tools they need to practice self-care this fall. Our September Care Package Gift Set features a mask (print of your choice), mask-keeper, a tumbler to-go cup, and Taylor’s favorite shortbread cookies—all wrapped up in one of our beautiful reusable Tokki gift bags.
This care package is the perfect way to send your love from a distance, whether it be to a college student returning to campus or a hardworking teacher. When you add your personalized message to the digital card, it will be like you’re right there with them when they open their gift.
Journaling is a lovely escape for many and can help us see patterns in our own thoughts we might not have even known were there. Writing everything down and using a journal can be its own form of therapy. Plus—this will be one of the most interesting times to look back on in thirty years, and you can read through all your thoughts and feelings during such a unique experience.
This journal from eco-collective is the perfect place to put all your thoughts and feelings, without harming the environment. The journal is made of 100% recycled materials, and comes from a brand based in Portland, OR. They offset 100% of their calculated carbon emissions (including each shipment they make), plus 10 additional tons just to be sure.
Move Your Body
A fun and easy way to practice self-care is finding a workout that you truly enjoy. Hitting the gym every day might not be for everyone, but exercise doesn’t have to mean lifting weights or running on a treadmill. Taking ten minutes to stretch every morning or going on a walk around the neighborhood can have big impacts on our mental health.
A fun gift to encourage self-care for students is a yoga mat. Even if yoga isn’t their preferred method of exercise, it can be a simple addition that makes working out easier and more accessible. These cork yoga mats from Yoloha are the perfect eco-friendly option for your student.
“Mindfulness” is a big buzzword in media lately, but it’s important to understand what it means in order to make it a meaningful form of self-care. Mindful.org defines mindfulness as “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”
The most common way to practice mindfulness is through meditation, and this is a daily practice that can improve our self-care immensely. Taking five minutes every morning to mindfully meditate can set your day up for success, or five minutes at night can help you sleep more soundly. A great resource to suggest is Headspace, an app that encourages mindfulness and gives you exercises that are easy to implement, even for beginners.
Do Something You Love
Staying in touch with the things we love is more important now than ever, and encouraging this connection is important to keep in mind this fall. It’s easy to be consumed with the monotony of online classes but taking a moment to do something you love is the perfect form of self-care.
Do they love cooking? Send them some ingredients! Do they miss concerts? Make them a playlist. Taking the time to learn about what they love and make it easier for them to do it is a beautiful way to show you care (and help them care for themselves).
When quarantine first began, many of us were excited about the idea of “zoom parties” and never leaving the comfort of our own bed. The novelty has slightly worn off, though, and it has become harder and harder to stay connected. Even though we are separated, it’s important to prioritize connection with the people we love (even if virtually). One of the best ways to support your student is by simply calling to check in and letting them vent about their struggles.
If you're looking for a memorable way to stay connected, check out our "Here's To" Candle Collection to find a message that's just right for you and your student. Each toast is written with warmth and love so they can feel your presence with each light.
Self-care is something we could all use a little more of lately, and we hope these tips can help you support your student during this transition. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish and that we can’t pour from an empty cup. Let’s help fill our own, so we can keep on filling each other's.
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