Treat yo self. From my all-time favorite show, "Parks and Recreation," the best day of the year was when two characters would do everything they wanted, to treat themselves. It was a day of self-care, in the materialistic sense.
While it’s referenced in pop culture lightly, the core meaning behind the expensive holiday is more relevant than ever. Particularly for students in college, there is seemingly never any time for self care to be practiced. From classes to clubs to work to homework, days are constantly going with hardly a break. There simply isn’t time to focus on what you personally need, and that can create serious issues.
I realized lately that I never was focusing on myself. Being so heavily involved in organizations on campus and helping others when they needed it, I put my own self on the back burner. I noticed early on that something was starting to get off with myself, and that something needed to change. However, instead of addressing it and changing what I was doing, I kept powering through, doing things as I always have.
This hurt my mental and emotional state significantly.
I’m not the same as how I normally am. I’m exhausted, forgetful, sporadic with my moods, and off from my usual personality. It’s not just me who’s noticed this; those who are close to me have noticed too. Everything has been piling up and up, and at this point I’m so overwhelmed it seems that nothing will go back to normal.
I’ve had multiple points where how my environment has been and how I’ve neglected myself have affected me so much that I break down, unable to control my thoughts. For anyone who says you can’t neglect yourself, they’re wrong. I’m living proof of it, along with many of my friends and classmates.
I’ve distanced myself from things that I love doing. I’ve slacked off on my responsibilities. I’ve viewed the world less enthusiastically, and have started to doubt what the point is of doing things anymore. Time after time this was in my face, and it scared me. Deep inside I knew that wasn’t who I was, but it seemed impossible to fix. No matter how hard I tried, it would always come back to that point.
I’ve started taking the steps I need to getting better. Not only with physically going to seek out help, but also just admitting it to myself. I need to take steps away from how demanding college is and realize what’s good for me. If there’s not enough time for self care, I need to make time, no question about it.
My mental health needs to be addressed more. I deserve better than what I’ve been giving myself.
While it may not be practical to go and blow my life’s savings on clothes, food, and trips like Donna and Tom do, I can still treat myself in other ways. Eating healthier food. Doing face masks. Relying less on espresso and more on actual sleep. Self care is possible, even though it doesn’t seem like it.
I’m convinced that with a combination of outside help and better self care techniques, I can slowly build myself back up to how I normally am. It’ll be a long process, but it’s time that I stop ignoring it and doing what’s good for me. I need to put myself first: something that I haven’t done in a long, long time. I have to treat myself- no holding back.