Personal health: The importance of self-care

Oleg+Volkov%2C+a+computer+science+and+mathematics+major+at+University+of+Oregon.Doing+various+activities+to+contribute+to+mental+health+and+wellness+including+working+out+at+Dixon+recreation+center+on+September+5%2C+2022.+

Harry Lohr

Oleg Volkov, a computer science and mathematics major at University of Oregon.Doing various activities to contribute to mental health and wellness including working out at Dixon recreation center on September 5, 2022.

Cassidy Hicks , Columnist

It may feel impossible to get anything done while taking care of yourself; making self-care a routine can go a long way in being able to set and keep your priorities.

Self-care is something that everyone talks about but almost never follows through on. Maintaining your well-being through self-care is undoubtedly one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself stable throughout the ups and downs of your life. 

As students, it is even more important to maintain self care.

Students are rarely ever just students, we often have multiple time commitments throughout any given day and priorities can sometimes be hard to manage. Self-care will frequently take a back seat to all those other things in life that get in the way.

However, self-care is often what allows people to keep going even during the most stressful times. Self-care is maintaining a person’s psychological, emotional and physical well-being and looks different for every person.

Self-care may be different for everyone, but it is essentially taking the time and effort to do something for yourself. For some people that looks like watching your favorite television show, playing video games, following a morning routine, getting your haircut, taking a nap, etc., but it is always going to be something that helps you maintain some form of personal health.

It can be all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities that demand your attention, like work, school, and your social life. However, it is important to take care of yourself by performing those necessary self-care activities.

Remembering to develop a self-care routine early is key. Once you have the habit down it becomes much easier to maintain when you could be struggling. Don’t let your commitments get ahead of you and try to implement at least one item of self-care a day. 

Make your self-care activity enjoyable, the best self-care won’t feel like a chore and you may not even notice the practice as being beneficial in the moment but it will ultimately keep you stable in the long run.

Being a student is a juggling act, you have all these engagements to maintain and may constantly be struggling to balance them all. Juggling is easy when you have energy and keep a manageable number of items in rotation, but what happens when something unexpected gets added or you have been juggling for a while and you start feeling exhausted? At that point you may end up losing your rhythm entirely and fail to get through your entire rotation of commitments.

“As a person who wears many hats, including: CEO, educator, author, wife and mother, it is critical for me to be aware of how I am feeling and dealing with multiple stresses in a healthy way,” said Kimberly Cooper-Griffin the CEO of Inkstacks. “Finding the right balance between work and life is very important and being in touch with self-care lets me know when I need to take a break. Inspiration is a core value, whether giving or looking for it, in everything I do. Making sure that I prioritize self-care enables me to be open to inspiration.”

Cooper-Griffin is the CEO of InkStacks, the director of education for the Golden Crown Literary Society and a published author with Bold Strokes Books.

She is intimately familiar with what it takes to have multiple and sometimes conflicting commitments, much like students. She gave insight into what self-care looks like for her and how she maintains her health while juggling.

“Recently, I have acquired a Life Coach who helps me define my priorities and create a healthy balance,” Cooper Griffin said. “There are a lot of things you can do to help yourself maintain a healthy balance in your life, some of which are maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep,and taking time to myself when I need it. Also having friends and family who are supportive and cutting out negatives when I can: and writing is a big part of my self-care routine.”

Many people, like Kimberly Cooper-Griffin, seek outside help when trying to maintain a healthy self-care routine. Luckily at Oregon State University, there are many available resources for students and faculty to take advantage of while on or off campus.

The Counseling and Psychological Services on the OSU website have excellent services and resources to look into, including crisis care, single session clinic, support and therapy groups, the mind spa and mindfulness meditation, short-term individual counseling, and many more.

“It’s helpful to turn to outside help sometimes because it can give you avenues to self-care you may not necessarily find on your own. And these are things like life coaches, therapists, dieticians, trainers and specialized groups,” Cooper-Griffin said. “When you belong to an organization such as a college, university, company, recreation center, and the like, it becomes easier to find these resources rather than doing it all on your own.”

There are so many things the OSU campus has to offer their students and faculty, and with a few deft searches of the OSU website you can find them.

The Student Experience Center houses the craft center which is a great place to practice self-care by getting in touch with your creative side. Then there is the fitness center where you can take care of your physical well-being by working out, playing various sports or even rock climbing. 

All sorts of activities fall under the umbrella of self-care as long as they are healthy ways of managing your emotional, physical and psychological well-being.