Written by Melissa Johnson ’18
What is self-care and why is it important?
Self-care is any intentional actions taken to care for physical, mental, social, or emotional health. Self-care helps you feel refreshed, motivated, and in control.
It’s important because you are, and you deserve to feel happy and well. While being in college is fun, it is also loaded with stress. As a student leader, athlete, or worker, you may face higher expectations and additional responsibilities that can cause even more stress. All of this stress is exactly why it’s necessary to make physical, mental, emotional, and social self-care a priority.
Areas of Self-Care
Physical self-care includes taking time for your nutritional needs, water intake, sleep, and exercise.
Mental/emotional self-care consists of positive self-talk, holding positive beliefs, and keeping a mood journal.
Social self-care allows time and space for you to be surrounded by friends, family, and anyone else in your support system.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
I truly believe Hiram attracts a certain kind of person—one who is kind, selfless, and would move mountains for friends, teammates, and loved ones. This is one of the many reasons I love this school. However, you can only be effective in caring for others if you’ve cared for yourself first. Taking time for yourself does not make you selfish! As Buddha once said, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” Practicing self-care helps you help others, and makes it easier to be that good student leader, teammate, or worker you strive to be.
How to Self-Care
Take a walk ● Finger-paint ● Get a massage ● Listen to music ● Dance! ● Play a pick-up game ● Try something new ● Play an instrument ● Draw a picture ● Watch funny Youtube videos ● Do something on your Bucket List ● Go stargazing ● Yoga ● Go on a bike ride ● Take a long, hot shower ● Unplug for an hour ● Plan a two day holiday for the next weekend ● Journal ● Get some fresh air ● Laughter ● Lunch date with friends ● Volunteer ● Go for a jog ● Soak up the sun ● Sing (LOUDLY!) ● Play a game ● Tell someone “thank you” ● Treat yo’self ● Take a mental health day ● Cuddle someone or something ● Meditate ● Color! ● Watch a sunset
Phone Apps for Self-Care
Pacifica: “…an app for stress, anxiety, and worry based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, relaxation, and wellness.”
White Noise Lite: “…an app with a wide variety of different soothing sounds to help you relax and fall asleep faster.”
Take a Break!: “…offers two short guided meditations to help with stress relief at work and at home.”
Grid Diary: “…includes a variety of different prompts to get you thinking about what to write. They help you reflect on your day, review your goals, and think over the positive things in your life.”
Colorfy: “…a fun and easy online coloring book for adults!”
Simply Yoga: “…your own personal yoga instructor. Each pose is demonstrated by a certified personal trainer, so simply choose your workout length and follow along in the comfort of your own home!”
Happify: “How you feel matters! Whether you’re feeling sad, anxious, or stressed, Happify brings you effective tools and programs to help you take control of your feelings and thoughts.”