Pacifica: Remember To Take Care Of Your Soul

Pacifica: Remember To Take Care Of Your Soul

A college students life is full of stress. Use this app to make sure you're taking care of yourself.
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Maintaining emotional well-being while in college can be hard. There are so many things to do; classes, homework, jobs, internships, clubs, meetings, events, socializing—and that's just to name a few. Sometimes even eating becomes something we need to make time for! But how can we make time to make sure our hearts are alright?

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states, 80 percent of college students experience daily stress and 34 percent of college students have felt depressed at some point in the past three months. The Associated Press Survey found that 60 percent of students said stress interfered with their schoolwork.

With finals week on the horizon, stress may seem inevitable. I've had friends tell me they sometimes get so stressed that they feel paralyzed and end up not doing anything for hours. Here are healthier ways to manage your stress that'll hopefully prevent you from becoming overwhelmed.


Through Pacifica I have found an easy and fast way to relieve stress. The tagline is, "daily tools for managing stress, anxiety and depression." This may seem like more than you can add to your busy schedule, but it's really quite simple.

The tools include logging your mood throughout the day, journaling your thoughts, and participating in daily goals. These tools are not meant to be a burden, but to integrate into your life like how opening Facebook and Instagram has become a habit. You just open Pacifica, log your mood and that's all.

There are different levels of moods, so you can log that you are feeling good, bad, OK, great, awful and more. The creators of Pacifica understand that moods and feelings are more complicated than that, so they also have tags you can add when you log your mood. So if you're feeling very bad, you can also say you're feeling anxious, stressed, and lonely.

This helps to pinpoint your feelings and problems more thoroughly and make sure you understand what exactly you are feeling. Sometimes it's hard to really get to the bottom of a negative or positive feeling. You may be feeling down, but you don't know why. Pacifica asks you to go a little deeper and it gives you insight into yourself.

The journaling tool lets you record your thoughts and feelings then walks you through them. It shows you that you are not alone and while your mind may overreact, you can make a positive out of it. The activity titled, "Thinking Traps" makes you think of a time when you were anxious or upset, then you write down everything you felt during that moment. In the second step, you break down what you wrote into facts and negative feelings.

It asks you to highlight anything that you wrote that is a negative feeling that may not be true or is an exaggeration. The final step asks you to replace those negative feeling with advice or positive feedback that you may give a friend in the same situation. It teaches you how to treat yourself better and not be so hard on yourself when something bad happens. All of your journal entries are saved so you can look at them later and reflect when something bad happens again.

The third activity you can participate in is goal setting. There are goals that Pacifica provides you to choose from. They fall under many areas of your life like, family, work, social, romance, health, and destinations. This can challenge you in small ways to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Some challenges include take a nap, go to the gym, write a letter, compliment a stranger, go to a museum, apply for a job, go to work, and more.

The goal I currently need to complete is arriving five minutes late. I am always early, and it makes me really nervous when I'm not. I don't understand how people can be late to classes or to meetings - I'm beginning to think it's impossible for me to be late, but this is a way for me to challenge myself and try something new.

After completing a goal, you get a list of completed goals, so you can always look back and see what you have accomplished. No matter if it's as small as brushing your teeth, or as big as going on a date, it's something to be proud of.

I have had this app for awhile, but they recently added some new social features. You can now join groups, like support groups. The groups are just to let you have a way to connect to others that may feel how you do. You can even start your own group and vent about how hard your classes are and how you're dreading finals week.

Another social feature that was recently added is a community thread. There you can find threads titled relax, health, music, books, stress, and personal stories. These sections give Pacifica users a place to anonymously talk about their thoughts and feelings as well as a place to help others. There you can get advice on how to handle stress or find new music that inspires you. If you become a premium member, you can post about your own experiences and share your favorite movies, videos, and books.

Basically, Pacifica is there for you when you need it. You can use it at your leisure. It's not a commitment that you have to follow, it's something you will want to use. It takes hardly any time, and won't take away from your other responsibilities throughout the day. It just sets some time aside for you to reflect.

So during finals week, take care of yourself. Yes, grades are important. Getting a degree is why we're in college, but if your soul is suffering, maybe it would be good to take a moment and check up on yourself.

One of my friends says that her mom asks her how it is in her heart. It's more than asking how you are. You can't shrug it off with a "good," and push through the sea of stress you're treading through. It requires a moment to stop, think and reflect. That's what Pacifica does. It has helped me a lot with getting my emotions and thoughts in check during stressful times. I'm sure it can help you too.

Cover Image Credit: listhunt.co

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I'm Starting To Love Myself And It's The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done

I deserve this.
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No, I don't want to do that.

Yes, I'm going to try this instead.

I'm going to learn how to _____.

I'm making these changes in my life to make myself a better person.

Because I want to.

Because I deserve better than this.

In the last few days, I've decided to make a radical decision. After 20 years of self-sabotaging, self-sacrificing, and overall making other people happy at my own expense, I've decided it's finally time to learn how to love myself.

This decision came out of the blue the other day and, while it'd probably be better to implement these changes one at a time, I've decided to dive into the deep end and start loving myself at every step along the way.

Yesterday this meant buying fruit, going to the gym, and letting myself fall asleep when I was tired.

Today it involved waking up early so I'd have extra time in the morning and wouldn't be rushing to class, eating breakfast, and letting myself watch a show in the afternoon when I had an hour-long break between class and work.

Some days it means letting go of a toxic relationship, reaching out to a friend I haven't talked to in a while, or letting myself eat my favorite comfort food.

Other days it involves going to the farmers' market, depositing money in my savings account, or calling my grandparents.

And every day, regardless of what the action is, the intention is always the same.

I'm doing this because I deserve it.

I'm doing this because I know I can be better.

I'm doing this because it's an investment in my future self, my health, and my happiness.

I'm doing this because I love myself.

And even on the days when I don't believe these words, they matter. Even on the days when I don't feel particularly loving towards myself; when my stomach sticks out too much or my hair won't lay the way I want it to, when it's hard to drag myself out of bed and all I'm craving is a slice of pizza and a nap, I remind myself that I'm loved and worthy of love.

I remind myself that I'm all I have, that my relationship with myself is the longest and the most important one I'll ever have, that telling other women to love themselves while I sit over here practicing self-loathing is hypocritical and unfair.

And on different days, "I love me" sounds different too. Some days it sounds like "I'm beautiful" and other days it sounds like "I can do this" and other days it sounds like "I'm proud of myself" and other days it sounds like "I deserve to be happy."

And at the end of the day, they all mean the same thing.

They mean that I'm done settling for less than I deserve. I'm done filling in the gaps with things and people that don't help me become the person I'm trying to be. I'm done chipping away pieces of myself and giving them away freely, expecting and receiving nothing in return. I'm done floating through life passively waiting for things to happen to me. It's time for me to take charge and to create the change I want to experience in my life.

It hasn't been easy. In fact, choosing radical self-love is the hardest thing I've ever done. But embarking on this journey has been the most worthwhile decision I've ever made. And there's no one I'd rather be experiencing it with than me.

Cover Image Credit: Maria Nelson

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Your Confidence Will Soar If You Adopt These 15 Habits

Everyone has insecurities, don't let them rule you
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It is just easier to live life when you are confident. Being insecure takes so much energy that could be spent doing something productive, like actually getting something to eat alone rather than waiting around for someone to go with you.

Not to mention, we all know that confidence makes everyone more attractive. Now if you are not super confident, don't worry, that does not mean you are automatically ugly, there is just something alluring about a confident person.

Now, I am no model for confidence, but there are a few things that I am trying to do or have done that helps exponentially. If you struggle with confidence these few things can help boost you in the right direction, and you will be rocking your world in no time!

1. Chin/Head up

If you keep your chin up and head out, it shows that you are comfortable with who you are and you aren't afraid for people to see your face. Most confidence radiates from the face and if you hide your face it is easy to assume that you are uncomfortable in your own skin, WHICH YOU SHOULDN'T BE!

2. Make purposeful hand movements

I am definitely guilty of this one ALL THE TIME... but if you have constant flourishing hand movements, people may think you don't know what you are talking about or are not confident in what you are saying.

But if you have precise and concise hand movements there are fewer distractions from what you are saying and people believe and want to hear what you have to say!

3. Eye contact

Eyes are the place of vulnerability as they are known as the windows to the soul, and looking straight at someone directly in the eyes shows that you have nothing to hide. You have accepted everything about yourself and are not afraid if people can see it. It takes time I know, but I think this one is most important!

4. Actually, listen to other people

The one way to sound confident is to listen to what others are actually saying so in turn you can reply with something substantial and you don't have to sit there in awkward silence.

Even if you don't really know what to say if you listen, you can at least make something up!

5. Stand up straight

One of the main insecurities among teenagers, young adults (and even some full-grown adults) is their body. We don't know how to hold ourselves, and we think we look awkward just by standing there and we second guess every movement.

Tall people have it bad because they feel TOO tall and slouch to cover up their height, but good posture oozes confidence. ROck your body cause no one actually cares what you look like if you love yourself!

6. Try not to think about other people

Insecurities are born from us obsessing over what other people think about us, which is ridiculous. Over 75% percent of individuals we encounter in our lives we only see ONCE, so who cares what they think??

This can start with you not judging other people. I know this isn't particularly easy either, but if you practice with intention, soon you won't even notice other people and you will stop comparing yourself to others!

7. Hygiene

I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory; If you feel pretty and clean then it makes it so much easier to be comfortable with yourself. Anyway, people don't really like to be around someone who smells, so don't be that person.

8. Exercise

I really am not the model for success here, but I do notice that when I go to the gym I just feel better, mentally and physically. Even if you can't see results, the endorphins released during a workout reduce stress and just help you feel happier with yourself!

So even if you just go every once and a while (like me) it will improve your confidence energy exponentially.

9. Mirror the other person

When talking to other people, it is proven that if you mirror their actions and laughs, they will feel more comfortable around you, and nothing can put you more at ease and confident than everyone else liking you!

Obviously still be yourself, but a laugh here and then, even if you don't think what they are saying is funny, goes a long way!

10. Smile

I don't know about you, but I am always more inclined to be around people who smile a lot. Sometimes it can get creepy, yes, but smiles are associated with positivity and happiness. No one wants to hang around a negative Nelly. So smile more, you will appear more approachable and your confidence will soar!

11. Dress the way you want to dress

If you love what you are wearing and you are comfortable, it is a reflection of how comfortable you are in your skin, because really clothes are just a second skin.

This can go along with not caring about what other people think. Don't dress to follow trends or impress anyone, if you want to wear a crown and cape that will definitely show confidence.

12. Don't cross your arms

If you cross your arms it signifies to others a very closed off and stand-offish personality. If you keep your arms uncrossed your body language is much more inviting. Also, people who cross their arms a lot are generally more unhappy with life in general, which is no way to live.

Not to mention this also helps with bettering your posture!

13. Don't fidget

Fidgeting is the biggest give away of insecurities. JUST SIT STILL (or stand still whatever). I can assure you that no one notices how you stand or sit, and fidgeting will only draw more attention to it, so just stop moving.

When someone fidgets, it rubs off and then others feel uncomfortable for you. Keep your hands to your side and stand still, with direct eye contact, does that not scream confidence?

14. Keep your hands out of your pockets

If you constantly have your hands in your pockets, it reflects that you have something to hide. Obviously, we don't want everyone to know our deepest, darkest secrets, but you want to exhibit confidence so people feel open to maybe being close enough to one day hear those secrets.

15. Try to avoid "um", "uh" and "like"

Confidence comes from believing in what you say and being strong with the statements you make, but if you say "um" after every two words, no one is going to take you seriously. Try to think before you speak, that way you won't include those filler words and people will again want to hear what you have to say and believe in your confidence.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

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