You’re doing great. Everything you’ve wanted to do went as you planned. Your goals, your aspirations, your ideas of what the future looks like are either already in front of you or getting clearer day by day. Nonetheless, there are days where you find yourself feeling gloomy and empty for no particular reason. You wonder why the negative feelings are occuring.
The lack of self-care might be the reason. No matter how many accomplishments you’ve reached, not balancing it with self-care could lead to recurrent depressive episodes. Therefore, you have to be aware of the substance and urgency of practicing self-care.
As such, the World Health Organization (WHO) sets July 24th as the International Self-Care Day. A month prior to the date, June 24th, is known as the start of Self-Care Month. According to WHO, July 24th was chosen as the suitable date because self-care should be implemented “24/7”. Interesting, isn’t it? It sure is, as long as we possess the desire to execute self-care as well!
Then, what exactly is self-care?
Generally, self-care means taking care of your well-being physically, mentally, spiritually, and basically every aspect of your life that you could take care of. A licensed psychologist, Marni Amsellem, said it best in an interview with EverydayHealth.com: “Self-care is anything that you do for yourself that feels nourishing”.
To practice self-care, you have to discover the pillars of self-care.
- Knowledge and health literacy
- Mental well-being and self awareness
- Physical activity
- Healthy eating
- Risk avoidance
- Good hygiene
- Responsible use of products
As college students, it is fair to say that we often let ourselves be driven by the achievements of fellow students and end up feeling worthless, rather than actually doing something to focus on our own. Besides that, sometimes we fail to recall how far we have come, compared to our former self.
Out of all the pillars above, as college students with the tendency to be involved in the “hustle culture”, mental well-being and self awareness is one of the most pivotal points we should focus on.
With all the hecticness (both within and beyond), Warta Kema sums up all the things you need to know about how you could maintain your mental well-being and self awareness through self-care.
Now, how can we practice self-care as college students?
- Maintain connections
Being a college student with numerous events you have to participate in leads you into having vast connections. Although some of the people you have crossed paths with wouldn’t be with you until the end, fortunately you still happen to stumble upon those you could trust and call friends.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed due to the responsibilities, reaching out to people who are familiar with your working and learning environment is a great option.
All in all, taking care of yourself also means acknowledging your humane needs of support from other people. Hence, repressing your feelings in order to function would only help you for the short haul. Always keep in mind that self-care starts with self-awareness!
- Take a break from social media
Being exposed to and connecting with people through social media could drain your energy to a certain degree. Looking at the lives of people you barely know, comparing yourself to the person they chose to show—could be the first step to self-destruction. Besides, having a break from social media would remind you that almost everything that you’ve been consuming there doesn’t always deserve your response, especially if it’s at the expense of your mental well-being. In the meantime, you could preserve the energy for new skills, community, love, and fulfillment.
- Practice meditation
According to the American Journal of Cardiology, meditation has several physical benefits, such as decreased blood pressure, healthier immune system, better digestion, and lower risk of stroke and diabetes as well. Mentally and emotionally, meditation is useful for mood regulation, anxiety management, increased self-awareness, mindfulness, and many more.
There are myriad ways to meditate. You can look up on YouTube and Spotify for guided meditation, meditation music, and so on!
- Set or reset goals
During uncertain times and low points, our goals could seemingly be impossible to reach. Worse, sometimes we are even prone to forget about our goals. First and foremost, it is necessary to take your time, then rise up to remind yourself once more about your dreams. After that, you could replenish your energy to list the goals you have set or reset for yourself.
Balancing your work-life with doing more of the things that give you composure is more than possible. You have to believe that taking care of yourself is not selfish. Instead, it is an art of surviving.
Penulis: Chelsea Anastasia
Editor: Fareez Eldacca