You have two tests this week, a paper due in 3 days, internship applications to fill out, work study hours to fill and a school event to help plan. To fit it all in, coffee becomes your primary form of hydration, all your meals are either delivered from Jimmy John’s, you’re living in sweats and you’ve basically taken up permanent residence in Trumper. You haven’t had time to go the gym, take a walk outside or catch up with friends, there’s just too much other stuff to get done. When responsibilities get stressful, self-care is the first thing to go. Unfortunately, that makes the stress even worse.
Sometimes it feels like college is all about sacrifice: sacrifice a night of sleep to get a paper in, sacrifice free time for internships and work experience and sacrifice a balanced diet for anything fast and microwaveable. Sacrifice taking care of ourselves for taking care of everything else, because “hard work pays off.” What ever happened to put your own health and well-being first? Self-care is so important, but it’s disappearing from our priorities more and more each day. Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.
When you don’t take the time to take care of yourself, it doesn’t matter how hard you work. You won’t be able to work to your full potential. You’re tired, worn out, exhausted. Your skills aren’t as sharp, you lose focus, and suddenly, you just aren’t working as efficiently. It’s like running on empty, and self-care is how you refuel. By making sure you’re energized and feeling good, you’ll actually improve the quality of your work, even if it means taking a little break once in awhile.
Furthermore, when you spend time focusing on yourself, you’ll feel happier. When you’re feeling sad, stressed, or angry, taking a mental break makes a huge difference. If you’ve been stressed or down lately, take a moment and do what makes you happy by indulging in something you love, whether it’s treating yourself to a frappuccino, using your favorite smelling lotion or splurging on a new pair of shoes. Your personal happiness is the best investment you can make.
Finally, self-care not only improves your relationship with yourself, but you relationship with others, too. You can’t love others until you love yourself. Nobody wants to hang out with someone who’s tired, cranky and overworked. They want to be around people who are happy and confident. If you’ve taken the time to give yourself a little love and care, you’ll feel good. When you feel good, you are in a more positive mood. You’ll smile more, be friendlier and, ultimately, be a joy for others to be around.
So how can you take the time to stop show yourself some love?
- Take a break from your phone and social media
- Take a nap
- Read a book for fun (not a textbook)
- Go to the mall
- Treat yourself to some Starbs, ice cream or Steak and Shake
- Go on a walk
- Have a spa night: use expensive lotion, do a face mask, paint your nails
Implementing some small form of self-care every day will improve your mood, make you less stressed, increase your confidence and overall make you a happier, healthier you! So go ahead, take the time to love yourself, because you deserve it.