Self-care is important 

By Thania Figueroa/Staff Writer

There are many reasons why one should practice self-care and there are numerous ways one can do it. 

According to Southern New Hampshire University, “Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more.”

As a college student, there are many responsibilities that students have. These responsibilities include going to class, doing homework, studying and taking tests and final exams. This can be a lot for students, especially those taking over 12 credit hours. Being a student-athlete is even harder, having to take on student responsibilities but also taking on athletic responsibilities. Student-athletes have multiple practices a week and games throughout their season, or even all year long. This leaves little time for self-care, which can increase stress, anxiety, depression, anger, etc. 

Self-care is important for one to de-stress, calm down, relax, focus on oneself, and overall it feels great. 

One key component to practicing self-care is doing something you, yourself, love. It will look different for everybody. 

If you are feeling stressed, sad, angry, frustrated, or just not yourself, it is time for you to practice some self-care. Take some time to figure out what you are feeling and why.

One way to figure out your feelings is to journal. Some individuals like talking to friends, but for those who are more private, journaling is a great way to vent and express yourself. 

As mentioned before, self-care looks different for everybody. Here are some ways you can practice self-care.

If you are looking for a physical outlet, going to the gym and lifting weights is one way. Going on a walk, a bike ride, swimming, dancing, or yoga are other ways to get active. 

If you are stressed and want something to make you calm or forget about your stress, you can read a book or watch your favorite movie or show. Listening to music is another way that I personally like to do. 

If you are tired, it is okay to take breaks and naps as needed. One cannot be productive if they are tired. Do not beat yourself up for taking these breaks. You may be really busy with a lot of tasks, but taking a 5-minute break or a 30-minute nap will not hurt; it will only benefit you if you think it does. 

We are in a society where being busy is normal, but if we are in a constant state of that with no breaks, we will never be able to work at our fullest potential. So again, taking breaks is okay.

Practicing good hygiene is another way to self-care. Good hygiene looks like showering daily and brushing your teeth twice a day. Some other ways to practice good hygiene are doing a face mask, exfoliating your skin, or having a skincare routine. 

What you put in your body could be a reason why you are not feeling great. Some ways to change this is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water and eating clean. This does not mean you have to eat healthy every day because self-care is about treating yourself. You can have a dessert or enjoy a cheeseburger but make sure you are not indulging in these negative treats.

Being creative is another great way to practice self-care. Coloring, painting and drawing are all ways to be creative and let your mind be free.

Social media may create negative images and feelings, and individuals compare themselves to others online. Putting your phone away or taking a break from social media will improve your self-esteem. 

Do not be afraid to ask for help. Self-care does not mean you have to do these things alone. Sometimes, social interaction is what one needs after a period of isolation. Make plans with friends, go watch a movie, go out to dinner or go for a night out. A night filled with love and laughter can never go wrong. 

Affirmations are positive words spoken or written, which can include, “I love myself” or “I am going to have a great day today.” It sounds silly, but saying or writing these words, especially daily, will become natural. Speaking things into existence works. 

Remember to always be mindful of how you are feeling. Your feelings are important and there is always a way to feel better. 

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