Self-Care: It Isn’t All Bubble Baths and Mud-Masks
If there's anything Furman students need, it's a bit of TLC.
At a time when it seems like everyone is stressed to the max, it is important to prioritize yourself.
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Do you ever find yourself longing for me-time but feel like you are always too busy? I have definitely been in this position, and let me tell you, it is so far from the truth. Now more than ever, we must spend time caring for our mental health and well-being. Yes, life is hectic. As college students, we are often pulled in many directions all at once. It can become incredibly overwhelming to simply manage the demands of everyday life— between classes, extracurriculars, and omni-present COVID obstacles, Furman students know burnout all too well.
Though it is important to recognize that this feeling of hecticness is normal right now, it is just as necessary to make sure that we create time and space for the things in life we love and enjoy amongst the chaos — hello cookout runs and lake walks.
Self-care should not feel like a task or a box to check off the list. It does not have to consume a large part of the day and can be as simple as taking a 10-minute break to breathe. Have you downloaded the Headspace app yet? Headspace is a mindfulness app that can help improve everything from stress to sleep (Furman students can download it for free here).
With that aside, every person is different, so all that truly matters is that you are doing what works best for you and your body. Whether that means waking up early to get a workout in before class or ending the day with a cup of tea, true self-care is about incorporating healthy habits and ways of living that bring joy to your life. So, what makes you feel your best?
Below, I have highlighted three simple and sustainable practices to help you radiate positivity and enjoy your most authentic self – from the inside and out.
#1 Nourish Your Body Right: Eating healthier and finding a balanced diet that works for you can be challenging and it is not a sprint – keep that in mind. Even though campus food is not fabulous right now, do keep track of your Chick-fil-A runs. . . Tip: fermented foods [kimchi] and those rich in Omega-3 fatty acids [i.e., salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds] are great for a healthy gut! Fueling your system with nutritious foods can greatly improve your health and wellness — the salad bar is always a reliable option to help balance out the other DH offerings, and with lots of options available, there is always room to get creative!
#2 Get Moving: You don’t need to work out for hours at a time to see progress and feel good. I love to stretch throughout the day to get my body up and moving, especially with a heavy load of zoom classes. Tip: Set a S.M.A.R.T goal and stick to it! A S.M.A.R.T goal stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. It can be as small as going for a relaxing walk around campus or doing a high-intensity HITT workout in the dorm room. Again, do what works for you. Incorporating physical activity is not only great for your mental health and skin, but it is great for lymphatic drainage too. If you’re looking for a workout routine but not sure where to start, check out some of Furman’s very own yogis! Several students are offering *free* online yoga classes right now, so take advantage of these opportunities to get your Zen on.
#3 Breath: Relax your shoulders, relax your jaw, then relax all facial and body muscles. Now, take a deep breath: breath in four counts, hold for four, breath out four counts. So, how do you feel? You can incorporate this short and easy cycle for as long as you like. Meditation is an incredible tool that can help you overcome discomfort, anger, stress, anxiety, and so on. I have been practicing for the past year and truly believe meditation is the foundation for inner peace. Give it a try...it works anywhere!