Finding balance in your body, mind and soul
Self-care seems like a simple process; eating the right food, getting enough sleep at night, exercising. In reality, self-care is much more than that. It is putting your own needs first and acknowledging how you are feeling in the moment and acting accordingly. It means doing things that refuel you, rather than take from you. Self-care is about incorporating a little bit of love into everything you do.
Self-care is about building a stronger relationship with yourself. Doing acts of self-care must be an active process; you should be conscious of the decisions you are making to benefit your body, mind and soul. Taking care of yourself should not feel like a chore. If the thought of going to the gym makes your skin crawl, find other ways to get your energy for instance, try doing a YouTube yoga session or go for a walk to your favourite spot in town.
Self-care is not just about taking care of yourself. It is taking care of the people and world around you. It is developing healthy relationships and cutting off people who may be toxic to you. Is is checking in with your friends when something seems off. It is making sure that they know they can come to you if they need to talk, but not pressuring them if they are not ready. It is making sure they are taking care of themselves and it is doing things that you know will make them happy, like buying them their favourite candy or reminding them how thankful you are to have them in your life.
Self-care looks different in everyone. Some get their energy from being around friends or dancing around in their bedroom to their favourite song. Others get their energy from curling up in their bed binge watching Netflix shows or having a nap. Self-care is about treating yourself. It is about doing things because they make you feel happy and good, even if they are not necessarily the “healthiest” option. Sometimes all you need is some junk food.
It is appreciating all of your inner and outer beauty. It is about complimenting yourself and not feeling guilty. It is about accepting all of the things that make you different and unique. It is embracing every part of what makes you, you and it is wearing what makes you feel comfortable and confident rather than what’s in “style."
It is following your gut; whether that means leaving a situation that makes you uncomfortable or going home early from a party because you want to. It means making mistakes and laughing at yourself when you get embarrassed. It means listening to what your body is telling you, whether that be hunger, anxiety, or nerves and acting on it rather than ignoring it.
As a University student, finding time to take care of yourself may seem like the last thing on your mind. Doing well in school is about balance; getting your work done is one thing, but if you are not in a healthy mental state your grades may suffer. It is hard to juggle all of the responsibilities of University such as doing homework, studying for exams, writing essays, maintaining your social life, and dealing with personal issues. It can seem overwhelming at times and that is why self-care is so important to incorporate in your daily life as a student.
Finally, self-care is about taking breaks. It is allowing yourself to step away from the screens and the school work to get in touch with yourself again. It is accepting that you studied as hard as you can and you are going to write the exam with your fullest potential, it is doing your best and it is asking for help when you need it.
Of all the things that self-care can be, one thing it is not, is selfish. Relationships will come and go but the one you have with yourself will always be there. It is up to you to strengthen that relationship and do things that make you feel warm and good. Life sucks sometimes, but it doesn’t have to. Goof around, be silly and weird, live in the moment and most importantly, take care of yourself.