The Importance of Self-Care

Of course, many people come to Nipissing as a student to focus on academics. But if academics were the only thing you spent your time on, you wouldn’t be able to truly excel because you wouldn’t be living a balanced life. Let’s talk about self-care for a second because it’s really important! Self-care is actively doing all the things that everybody tells you should. We all know health and good sleep patterns are important for doing well in school, but what happens without those things?

Well, without a proper balance of social time – time with others, “me” time – time doing things with and for you, and “work time”, a person can become really overwhelmed! I learned this first hand time and time again, as poor time management is one of my greatest downfalls. Stress throughout the academic year in inevitable; of course things get busy or difficult at times. However, if you are taking all these preventative steps to take care of yourself along the way, stresses like room-mate conflicts, overwhelming school load, or even bad weather won’t affect you as much.

Self-Care can include a variety of things. I have included just 5 steps for effective self-care that I feel are important, from me to you. All of this is based on my personal opinion; some people may find other things that are important to them for remaining balanced.

  • Find “me time”: If you find yourself in a position where you literally do not have any time, plan it out. If going to the gym or watching your favourite TV series is your “me time”, block it into your day. Set aside time where you will do something you enjoy. This is so important to help yourself stay relaxed and energized, to tackle all the things you need to get done. Even just 20 minutes of time for yourself may help boost your mood.
  • Plan your study time: Studying and assignments can be time consuming and at times overwhelming. Planning the time to do your school work is important, but often that school work may take longer than originally anticipated. Staying on top of the workload is a great way to prevent excess stress before it begins.
  • Sleep well: We all know that regular sleep helps us function better. Having a routine before bed such as consistently, going to bed, and waking up around the same time can help your body function better. A routine could also include reading before bed or something that helps to relax you and get you ready for sleeping. For some people, this might include turning off screens like on a computer or cell phone before bed.
  • Eat well: This one can be hard. Eating well is sometimes expensive and it can be difficult when you’re short for time or have a long day on campus and it may be easier to grab the closest thing from the cafeteria. However, eating well is important to maintaining your energy throughout the day, boosting your mood and helping you accomplish what you need to do.
  • Social time: Academics are important and we would all like to do well. However, without some crucial social time, it can be hard to truly focus on your school work. How much social time a person needs varies from person to person. For some people, this might mean time at home if they are feeling homesick, and for others it might mean seeing their friends at least once a week to prevent feelings of loneliness. Social time can be done in a variety of ways, through interaction with classmates, lunch on campus with friends between classes, joining an extracurricular activity and meeting like-minded people, attending residence events, or maybe just some down time watching movies with your room-mates and friends.

 

Megan Fraser,

3rd Year BPHE Student