Opinion: Self care is more important now than ever

Amanda Victoria Balaba

Graphic by Liam Killian

 

I always get so excited when a new year and new semester come around. I feel like it’s the best time for me to set my perspectives straight, get everything done and pull myself together. I think the same goes for almost every student out there. We tend to push ourselves to our limit without realizing how burned out we will be in the process, and in the end it ends up being purely detrimental to our well-being. As much as we want to grab every opportunity there is, we sometimes fail to take our well-being into account.

I know we are all guilty of sacrificing hours of sleep and pulling all-nighters for exams or skipping meals to study. Suddenly, taking care of ourselves becomes a privilege. Self-care tends to be the first thing we choose to neglect when we don’t have time to fit in our busy schedules. I have also heard other students dismiss the idea of self-care saying that it is “costly” and “time-consuming.” But self-care should be a priority. You can practice acts of self-care without even realizing it. 

Self-care may look different for each person, and that is totally valid. To some, it may look like applying skincare and indulging in bubble baths, while to others it may look like going on walks and exercising. The point is you don’t have to make such efforts to take care of yourself. If you find something that works for you and makes you feel good and happy, then go for it. As college students, our schedules may seem really busy to even fit these small acts of self care, but it isn’t impossible. Here are some ways that I take care of myself and how you can too: 

  1. I try to frequently listen to music or podcast shows that I love. Whenever I’m having a rough day, I love to detox and listen to my favorite albums such as Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour or 88rising’s “Head In The Clouds II.” 
  2. I enjoy setting aside some time to watch a favorite movie or show when I feel burned out. I just rewatched my favorite episodes of Haikyuu recently. 
  3. Eating a favorite food or snack can help brighten your mood during a stressful day, and it doesn’t always necessarily have to be healthy as long as it is in moderation. 
  4. Talking to people I care about is always a stress reliever. I try to catch up with old and new friends as often as I can, even over the phone. 
  5. Practicing mindfulness through meditation and journaling always helps me understand and get to know myself better. 

These are just some of the many acts of self-care that I practice, and that I think all students should try to incorporate. It’s important to choose to take the time for yourself to unwind and destress. Time management is hard, and college can be pretty stressful so don’t forget to breathe and take a step back every now and then.