Kick off Spring with a Dose of Self-Care

“Self-care is about more than just taking bubble baths or “treating yourself” every once in a while,” remarked fourth-year Health Initiatives Healthy Jacket peer educator Meghan Stevens. “It is also about doing the more difficult things to take care of your body and mind.” As spring approaches and finals come into the minds of students, it is important to focus on the good things in life.

In the words of Maria Krakovski, “self-care is important to ensure you are living your best life.” Stevens agrees with her in saying, “self-care is important because if you don’t take proper care of yourself internally, it’s difficult to succeed in external aspects of your life like in school or your career.” Taking a moment for your self will actually benefit you in the long run. Breathing and giving yourself a mental break allows you to focus harder, instead of longer, on the task at hand.

Taking breaks is an important part of self-care, but there are many other ways to give your mind and body a much-needed break. Healthy Jacket peer educator, Anna Rappaport, practices self-care by “going to sleep when I feel tired, going to the gym at least four days a week, and eating well.” Your body needs rest and nourishment in order to be at its best.  Stevens’s practices self-care by “practicing watercolors and sketching in order to take creative breaks.” How you give your body and mind a break depends on what works best for you and what leaves you feeling refreshed and energized. However, it’s important to be consistent and take that break for yourself when you need it.

As a student, it can be difficult to balance school, work and other stressors with taking care of yourself. Rappaport schedules time into her schedule for self-care. She said, “If I know I want to go do something fun later in the week, I make sure I get all pertinent assignments and studying done earlier in the week. Doing this, allows me to create holes in my schedule throughout the week to be able to hit the gym, or grab a bite to eat with a friend, or simply relax and watch an episode of Criminal Minds!” Krakovski is a planner as well. She says, “I plan out my days usually a night or two before, ensuring I get enough sleep so I can accomplish all the tasks I need to get done, plus allow room for self-care activities.”

Practicing self-care is necessary for your well-being and it is important to not feel guilty about taking a break. Stevens said it best when she said, “I also acknowledge when I really do need to indulge and take a bubble bath and have some ice cream, while not feeling guilty or selfish about it because we all deserve to treat ourselves once in a while. Self-care isn't selfish, it shows strength and respect for yourself. ”

For more information on how to practice self-care, go to healthinitiatives.gatech.edu /self-care.

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