Importance of self care


Anna Hudson ’23 practicing her favorite form of self care, meditation (Kowalski/LION).

Myrna Cross, In-Depth Editor

Self care is, fundamentally, the most important thing one can do to manage their mental and physical health. Maintaining proper self care has so many benefits, yet some people don’t realize how crucial it is. Often, the expectation for human beings is to live a hardworking, productive life. And while in many ways this is true, this belief often results in people forgetting to take care of themselves and giving themselves an opportunity to take a breath and relax. 

If I’m being completely honest, I often find myself guilty of this; I become so consumed in my own stressors and struggles that I lose track of what’s important: taking care of myself. The best example of this, unfortunately, is my bedroom. When I’m feeling down for weeks on end, my room will reflect my mental state. As the piles of clothes cover my floor, my mind is simultaneously being covered with stress and worry. When I finally get around to cleaning my room, my mood automatically changes and I become a happier, calmer version of myself. 

But cleaning your room is definitely not the only way you can demonstrate self care. Practicing self care comes in many different forms, such as exercise, taking care of your skin, personal hygiene, etc. However, self care doesn’t just have to be meticulous everyday tasks. It can also be doing the things you love the most or fun activities to cheer you up. 

My favorite way to instantly feel better is to make time for my favorite people. Oftentimes, people lose track of their days because they are so focused on getting their work done and never make time for the important people in their lives. Whether it’s family or friends, mapping out time to surround yourself with people who will make you laugh and smile is so beneficial. That being said, removing people who make you feel bad about yourself from your life is also important. 

Setting aside time to do activities that you like is also a great way to feel better mentally and physically. For example, when I’m upset or feeling overwhelmed I might listen to music or write.

Personally, the self care method I believe to be most important to maintaining your health, is getting a proper amount of sleep. I often find myself up until the late hours of the night cramming in studying or homework. Prioritizing a time earlier in the night for homework so that you can go to bed at a proper time is so important for balancing your priorities at school with your health. 

LT social worker Joan Cushing knows all too well the importance of taking care of yourself. “Self care is important for maintaining all aspects of ourselves, not just mental health: physical health, staying connected to yourself, staying connected to others, and creating lifelong healthy habits,” she said. “LT has many resources for students going through mental illness including counselors, social workers, groups, school wide events such as suicide awareness month, and referrals to outside resources.”

Feeling down about yourself and getting easily overwhelmed is part of human nature, but forgetting to stop and put yourself first always makes things worse. Taking the time and effort to take care of yourself, in more ways than one, is pivotal to living the best life possible.