Creating a Reward System
By Angie Tehuitzil Corral, Staff Writer.
Reward yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary! We are already into the second half of the semester, giving time for the stress to build up. College students often put too much pressure on themselves, which prevents them from taking an interest in their mental and physical health. However, this can easily be fixed by including self-rewards to help students stay in complete control and provide appropriate incentives to finish work properly.
Gretchen Rubin is an author who has written several books about finding ways to live happier. One of her most popular books is “Better Than Before”, in which she emphasizes the importance of rewarding yourself. She states that “in the chaos of everyday life, it’s easy to lose sight of what matters, and [one] can use habits to make sure that [one’s] life reflects [their] values”.
Rubin asserts that many college students fall into this endless cycle of stress as they always focus on everything else and forget to care for the body and the mind.
Examples of reward methods that might stick:
Go outside. It’s mid-October, yet we are still experiencing sunny and beautiful Autumn days, which is uncommon for this time in Maine. So take advantage and appreciate it by going out and spending some time alone with nature. A quick walk to release the stress, going to the Sandy River, going on a hike, or getting a mat for some yoga outside are all good options.
Take some time to make a good homemade meal. Being in a time crunch, especially in college, means not always having time to fuel your body adequately, so many students will end up grabbing anything on the go. And let’s be honest. Ramen is not so good when eaten three times a day. So instead, prepare something tasteful and nourishing that will fill you up with energy for the day.
Take a nap; you’re staying up all night doing endless amounts of homework. So, after class, sprint back to your room and sleep! Now, this doesn’t have to be a five-hour nap, but simply getting 15 min is all you need for a quick recharge that will help you focus.
Self-rewards are not limited, and it’s all about what works for you. These are even some examples UMF students asserted they like to do:
“I like to meditate or blast out music” – Ali Phair.
“Sometimes, I’ll usually just go back home and enjoy drinking a cup of tea” -Sylvie Haslam.
“Take some time out of my day to go out with friends and shoot some hoops”- William Harryman.
Meanwhile, Professor Blossom, a psychology professor at UMF, stressed the importance of self-reward for college students as students typically take mental health for granted. “Self-reward is important so that we can take the time to notice our accomplishments and reinforce ourselves for persevering.” Blossom said.
Most students are always busy finishing their workload, and so students struggle to find time for themselves. But including self-rewards allows us to uplift our motivation to generate better outcomes, because you can’t expect so much from yourself without giving yourself anything.
So, next time you’re on the borderline of feeling stressed, take a deep breath and relieve it by starting to practice a self-rewarding method that works for you.