Self Care Everyday
Welcome back to school Legacy-Makers! We hope that you have had a fun and relaxing reading week as we return to the hustle and bustle that is the university lifestyle. As we finish off the month of February with our focus on ‘People’, we wanted to shed some light on the topic of self-care.
As students, we are taught that success does not come easy but working hard pays off. That mentality spirals out and continues to motivate individuals in the workforce, pushing them to strive for high goals and do whatever they can to achieve them. Even in our personal life decisions, as individuals, we tend to tend to the needs of friends and families before we take care of ourselves, sometimes at the expense of our health. In the past, society has been accepting of this behaviour, almost encouraging that this type of self-neglect is healthy. As we move into a generation where we have become more educated in the field of mental health and why it is more important, the idea of self-care is more prevalent.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is essentially the spectrum of action methods you use that allows you to preserve and improve your own health. It is about understanding what your mental and physical body needs, in order to care for yourself. The idea of self-care can look like very different pending on the purpose but the objective is the same.
Why is it Important?
Integrating aspects of self-care into your lifestyle is important because more times than not, successful people will push themselves to a point where they feel a mental break or feel really sick before they take a break. Others will simply neglect this concept and ignore the stress buildup from their school and/or career, confused about why they feel the way they do. Self-care is there to add as an assisting block to the foundation that is you, and the purpose is to ensure that you have the space and opportunity to continue growing and developing yourself without damaging yourself.
Self-care is constant, an ever-growing need in your life and there are many ways to implement it into your daily routine. Whether it be a short-term or a long-term solution, having it in practice will be beneficial because stress and general mental strain build-up will occur, it is part of the imperfect human experience and having a healthy response will reverse those uncomfortable feelings over time.
The mind, body, and soul are interconnected to create who you are. In society, when we injure our physical self, we know it needs to be cared for - whether that be going to the doctor or taking medicine to recover. When we lose our sense of connectedness or become confused about our purpose and goals, we revisit the important aspects of our lives to explore and find our spirit again. However, when it comes to our mind, specifically our mental health, we usually opt out of taking care of the stress and anxiety that can come about during the year. Self-care goes beyond making sure your body and soul are well-cared for, but that your mental health is healthy as well.
Short-Term Self-Care Solutions
These solutions are meant for quick fixes for a bad day or a pick-me-up to start your day:
Mini-declutter: clear room, clear mind - sometimes all you need is to clear up your physical living space to feel more organized both literally and figuratively
Unplug: get off any electronics or social media and take a walk outside to clear your mind
Exercise: take a jog around the block or head to the gym for a mini-workout
Skincare: utilize some skincare products to help yourself feel energized
Practice meditation: this can be helpful wherever you are - learn a couple of meditation tricks so that you can meditate on-the-go and find peace
Healthy lifestyle: ensure that you are choosing healthy food choices, sleeping well, and are prioritizing yourself so that your energy levels can continue to stay up
Stay connected: find family and friends to have a conversation with
Long-Term Self-Care Solutions
When it comes to recognizing difficult situations that you are in, it may take some time and routine to get yourself feeling more cared for. These solutions are meant to have long-term positive effects:
Start a compliments box: find a way to compliment yourself each day and put that note into a jar so that when you are having a rough day or need a pick-me-up, you have this project handy
Take a vacation: find a timeframe that you can be away and plan a trip with your friends so that you can take the time and space to relax
Schedule self-care time: find slots every week to have an hour of self-care so that you can touch base with yourself each week
Focus on the positives: this mentality sometimes requires a routine practice of avoiding self-critical thoughts while being kind to yourself so that you are able to better handle any stressful situations
Meet with your counselor or your support group: whether you just need someone to talk to or you are seeking support, it is a good touchpoint to have in your life
Although many of our suggestions are great solutions for small self-care breaks, we know that there are always a range of these problems that can come up, which is why having access to external resources is important too. It’s okay to not feel okay some days and it's okay to care for yourself in different ways, so if you find yourself looking for more information or someone external to talk to, here are various resources that you can look through:
York University Resources:
Keele Campus: Bennett Centre http://mhw.info.yorku.ca/organization/personal-counselling-services/
Glendon Campus: Accessibility, Well-Being, and Counselling Centre https://www.glendon.yorku.ca/counselling/
Kids Help Phone: (Live Chat, Phone Services, Discussion Forum) https://kidshelpphone.ca/
Good2Talk: Post Secondary Mental Health Helpline https://good2talk.ca/
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Various Services for Different Needs https://www.camh.ca/en/your-care/programs-and-services
These will assist you with keeping up with your self-care regime:
SleepBot: to help track your sleeping habits
Happify: activities and games to elevate happiness
Booster Buddy: aims to help with mental health through completing self-care quests
Strides Habit Tracker: assists to track your habits and goals
Grateful: A Gratitude Journal: journal entries to act as pick-me-ups