Opinions

Remembering Self Care in the New Semester

As the semester gets underway, every student slowly gets more stressed. No matter your year or major, at some point in the semester, you will start to feel the stress of assignments, personal life, relationships and everything else going on in life. What is avoidable, however, is the way you handle this stress. Stress can be handled through various means of self-care.

Self-care has a reputation of having to be something luxurious that you do for yourself, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. While it is  nice to do things for yourself, sometimes self-care is as simple as being able to use the word “no”.  When you’re overwhelmed with classes, work and extracurriculars and someone asks you to participate in some campus activity, remember it is a completely valid form of self-care to refuse.

Other times saying “no” comes in the form of saying “no” to yourself. After studying all day, if a friend invites you to dinner you may be tempted to say “no” to continue studying. However, self care could mean saying “no” to yourself and recognizing the valuable self-care skill of not overextending yourself.

Self-care is not just a series of unconnected actions. Instead, view self-care as a process of checking in with yourself to see where you are and what you need. Perhaps you have been spending a lot of time procrastinating and self-care does actually look like studying. Other times self-care can look like setting up weekly therapy sessions. Sometimes self-care is as simple as making sure to take a daily shower. Self-care is less about what you do and more about how it leaves you feeling. If chocolates and a bath are going to leave you stressed because you’re procrastinating a paper, that’s not true self-care.

Self-care is a learned process. It’s an individual,  person to person effort that will not look the same every day. Instead, being in tune with your own emotions and stress levels is key to practicing good self-care.

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