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While it is easy to get caught up in personal responsibilities, including school and work, students agree that taking time for self care is also important.
Many students on campus see self care as a small break in their everyday routines which allows them to catch their breath.
Sophomore English major Lauren Longanecker said that she often finds herself stressed because of her college workload and makes a point of doing things to break her habitual activities.
“I have a facial routine (using) a whole avocado face mask,” Longanecker said. She added that she likes to change things up too. “Whether it’s grabbing a coffee or a movie night.”
Sophomore political science major Hannah Flores said she finds herself searching the web for new clothing items to add to her closet.
“Retail therapy is my best friend,” Flores said. “I’m usually shopping online while in bed with a face mask, but when I’m having a really bad day, I call my mom.”
For other students at the University of La Verne, self care does not involve face masks or spending money on the latest things.
Gonzalo Rodriguez, freshman business administration major, is not from the La Verne area but has been able to appreciate the new sights where he hangs out with friends.
“We found beautiful places that overlook the city and I have friends who appreciate and notice the smaller things so much more, it’s really relaxing,” Rodriguez said.
Others turn to tasks that do not require a lot of thought, like television.
“I usually find a television show that doesn’t involve much thought so I can play it in the background as white noise, just something so my brain is active,” said Brienne Toyoshiba, freshman physics major. “I’ll even go off campus and walk around until I find something fun to do.”
Although self care looks different for every individual, self care can go beyond just temporarily unplugging from our schedule of tasks and ever-growing to-do lists.
True self care could even be argued as a lifestyle, an ongoing process individuals can work toward achieving.
According to “A Guide for Psychology Postgraduates: Surviving Postgraduate Study” by the Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group 2018 study, within the context of students in post-graduate studies, it states that self care is vital, and specifically emphasizes the importance of social support.
The study elaborates on what it calls the “Three C’s” of self care: capability, consistency and communication.
Within the realm of capability, evaluating and identifying the changes that can be made in your life leads to setting realistic and achievable goals. When the goals are met, celebrating these accomplishments can build a sense of self-efficacy, or belief in oneself to be able to perform and succeed.
Having consistency and establishing a routine allows allotted time to be dedicated towards working on tasks at hand. Not only does this work towards building time management skills, but also prioritizes specific tasks on your to-do list.
Another effective strategy is to solidify a trusted group of people who can act as social support when needed. Actively communicating with others such as close friends, family and advisors or mentors will build a network of people who can hold you accountable on your journey to better self care.
Self care is unique to the individual and does not have to be difficult, either.
Thoughtfully evaluating and understanding where you are and deciding there are small changes you can make has the ability to lead you down the right path towards a healthier lifestyle.
Jaycie Thierry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.