The daily routine of work and school can easily make time go by fast and be comforting knowing you have the same thing to do everyday. However, it is easy to let things slip by, like doing laundry or cleaning out that junk drawer in your kitchen. Often times too, it is easy to put important tasks aside that may not be your top priority, like your health. The American Institute of Stress states over 50 effects of stress, some being excess anxiety or guilt, frequent headaches and feelings of worthlessness and loneliness. A pattern is seen – stress really affects mental health. The looming cloud of feeling lonely and overwhelmed can ruin your everyday performance, making the easy, daily tasks much harder. No matter who you are, a full-time student or worker, it is important to take care of yourself. Your health (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.) should always come first!
I define self-care as the process of simpling taking care of yourself, meaning taking the time to relax and do what you like. To me, self care means cleaning or tidying up my personal space, taking a hot shower and doing a face mask. However, it can be more personal from person to person. For example, self care to someone may be taking a day off and going somewhere, or it could be cooking. In the end, self care is based upon what makes you happy and something you like.
Self care means taking the time off that you need to get yourself back together, a reset, if you will. It should not let you fall too far behind in other priorities! For example, I dedicate every Sunday on self care. I set aside the full morning to catch up on homework or extra work. Then, I spend the evening focusing on my self-care routine. It is very easy to get confused between the difference of procrastination and practicing self care. Merriam-Webster defines procrastination as to put off intentionally or habitually, or to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done. Self care does not mean putting off top priorities! Top priorities should be done first, and then act in self care. If you are less stressed and more relaxed, your self care routine will be ten times better of an experience. Your health and state of being should always be ten times more important than that deadline you have to meet or the paper you have to write. Always make sure to put yourself first!
Lily enjoys hanging out with friends and family, watching Netflix and traveling on her free time. She is currently a Child Development major at Ohlone College, and hopes to earn her Ph.D. in Education.