Post #66 Healthy Students Require Self-Care
Self-Care: how often do you think about it? It’s not something the typical engineering student thinks about. But, what if you did think about it daily? What kinds of answers, problems and solutions could you create for yourself? Moreover, how would your life be improved if you created a daily habit of caring for you?
What is Self-Care?
Life is a balancing act. You will always be balancing your mentality, goals and tasks in conjunction with your physical health. One may severely affect the other. What good are your problem-solving skills if you’re lying in bed with the flu or other physical ailment? Your health includes both mental and physical states. Our society emphasizes physical well being more than mental wellbeing. Perhaps this is part of the reason why so many students dismiss their state of emotions. For maximum health, I recommend both physical and mental nourishment. Pay attention to your self-care habits. It starts with acknowledgement of your being, both body and mind.
Your physical body has requirements. Are you meeting them? Only you can know what is best and only you can know your own limits. Think about the following: sleeping, eating, exercise, exertion, aches, pains, inflammation, and any type of unusual symptoms that aren’t the norm. Do you have a baseline for your physical body – would you even noticed if something was off or unusual? I highly recommend you take note of what your body looks and feels like when you are in balance. If you know as you read this that you are not juggling everything in a healthy manner, ask yourself why not. What can you change to give your more attention? Students require self-care; this applies both physically and mentally.
What does it mean to take care of your mind? Firstly, it means you recognize anything unusual. Instead of hiding, instead of ignoring or running away, you acknowledge something is up. That something could include increased depression, increased self-doubt, acting rudely to others, feeling lost, overeating, oversleeping, etc. Secondly, after acknowledgement comes the brainstorming. You can start by asking yourself, “What is happening in my life; why am I having such negative thoughts or feelings…?” And if you know a trusted advisor or adult, I encourage you to start this conversation. Thirdly, after brainstorming possible reasons for your mental suffering, you can decide a course of action. Is it necessary to seek therapy, counseling or coaching? If your issue is not so severe, perhaps, you can make some lifestyle changes? Is it as simple as venting to a listener? Is it a matter of accepting circumstances for what they are instead of resisting?
Paying attention to yourself is not selfish and all students require self-care. No one else is going to do it for you. The more you care for yourself, the more you can provide to others.