Advice

Self-care pays off 

 Life can be busy, but taking care of yourself is important. 

written by Qi Chen
November 30, 2017 12:34 pm

Work is never ending on the Dalhousie University campus.  

Midterms, papers, jobs, and extracurricular activities just keep piling up. The result is stress, burnout and agitation. 

The remedy for this chaos is self-care. Self-care benefits your physical health and overall well-being. Practicing self-care gets neglected when our calendars are overbooked. We fall victims to the adage, “hard work pays off.” 

It does, but self-care is just as important – if not more important. If we do not take care of ourselves, it leads to burnout, anxiety and it negatively affects our mental and physical well-being.  

Practicing self-care is subjective. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. It’s important to make self-care a priority to improve mental and physical health and find what helps you feel good. 

Here are some tips that may help you: 

Budget time for your social life. 

Make time to go for a coffee with friends. Take a walk Point Pleasant Park or the Public Gardens and pet all the adorable puppies – you get in a walk and it’s free! Social connections reduce stress levels. We are happier when we surround ourselves with friends and family, and while doing fun activities. 

Exercise. 

It improves physical health and refocuses your brain. It doesn’t have to be strenuous or aggressive. Just 30 minutes, three times a week is beneficial. If you’ve been eyeing that yoga or kickboxing class, it can be fun to take fitness classes – go check them out! 

Make time for your hobbies. 

Not doing the things we like can seriously, negatively affect our mood and happiness. If you really enjoy playing the guitar, hiking, running, or going to art shows, make a serious effort to do these things. It will bring you joy if you commit to doing them. We feel happy and a sense of purpose when we do the things that we love, even if there isn’t ‘a point.’ 

Sleep Schedule. 

A restful night of sleep goes a long way. People are more productive when they are well rested. Don’t try staying up all night to cram for that midterm because you cannot – and will not – retain all the information needed to ace it. Make the effort to budget your time like you budget your money or meals so you still get your Z’s. 

Practice gratitude. 

When we try comparing our lives with other peoples highlight reel, it’s easy to feel unsuccessful. Scrolling through social media feels like everyone’s life is better than yours while sit studying for a midterm in the gloomy, old, stacks of the Killam.  

Remember this is just one aspect of people’s lives. People don’t post pictures of their failures, the terrible fights with their significant others, or when they lose a job. 

Be grateful. Appreciate what you do have and it will bring you more joy and satisfaction. 

Cherish the small things. Like a rich cup of hot coffee to starting your morning. 

Self-care is incredibly important. Students lead extremely busy lives, but we should take care of ourselves first and foremost. If not for the sake of our health, but the sake of actually achieving those marks we want.