On the Importance of Self-Care

Story & Photos by Chanda Crenshaw

Self-care can be foreign for many students. Day-to-day schedules tend to blur together as we move further into the semester. You’re pulled into several different commitments that have to be met, and catching a breath to ask how I’m doing? That’s almost impossible— nevertheless, it needs to be done.

Self-care is much more than doing the things that you enjoy, but exercising your mental and physical well being is key.

CMU associate professor Kimberly O’Brien said there could be many reasons why students experience a lack of self care. The pressure of college affects students differently.

“For many students it’s their first time away from home, so they now have to teach themselves a healthy outlet of dealing with the stress of higher education and balancing out their schedule,” O’Brien said.

Her advice to students is to simply take a break. “No one ever tells you that it’s ok to take a break. Majority of the time people are telling you to keep pushing through and that’s not always the best answer-school does not get easier and it’s never convenient. Find a good long term solution that works for you,” she said.

O’brien said losing enjoyment in the things or people that were once of interest to you can be a indicator of a student needing to monitor their well being. “You should be able to enjoy the things in your life, without them starting to feel as a chore,” she said.

Kyle Mann, graduate of organizational & industrial psychology, says one of his biggest regrets of going through university was not talking to other students about the pressures of classes. “During undergrad I never thought to meet with other people who were in the same position as me. Confiding in other students has made a change with how I deal with stress,” he said.

Mann says it’s important for students to have goals and remain organized throughout the semester however students should not be hard on themselves when it comes to self set deadlines. Often times students have a lot on their plate, when something isn’t done they tend to focus on that, whether than to focus on the progress they have made.