College crocks: Self-Care

Brendan Ulanch

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College is an intense roller coaster that stops for no one and if you don’t care for yourself in the correct and most fulfilling ways then you will never be able to finish the ride. The practice of self-care has been thrown around a lot these days, especially in the teens to twenties range. What I have noticed is that there are two ways people react when they hear self-care: brush it off like you are too good for it and that you don’t need it or unleash your love for it and bombard the unlucky victim with all of your at-home remedies, tips and tricks. Whichever side you stray toward, everyone takes care of themselves in some way or another. Even the person that states that they are too good for it without a doubt throws their shoes off after a long day, pours themselves a cup of ice cold lemonade and watches the sun go down behind some peaceful rolling hills… or maybe something similar. 

I am one that takes school to the extreme. and a lot of the time I wish I could just chill and take a load off. So I do. I have a motto in life that I try to stay true to as much as I can and that is: “Work as hard as possible, but if all you are doing is working then you are doing something wrong.” Every single day I try to set aside at least 30 minutes to chill and focus on absolutely nothing. 

Something that really helps to relieve stress, anxiety and all the negativity in your head is to sit back, relax and think about nothing. Obviously that’s impossible, but try to focus on those little things throughout the day that popped into your head but weren’t important at the moment: what’s that girl’s name was at the Connection, how many puppies could I own at once, or would I be able to be president for a day? It works, and trust me, your peace-of-mind will be thanking you later for it. 

Some very useful self-care tips can be found all over the Internet and even your own dorm. Exercising, being able to say no and playing with a pet are all effective self-care techniques that should be implemented by everyone. Exercising benefits every part of your body, including your mood. Mental strength is just as if not more important than physical strength. I know finding access to a gym or just time in general to workout can be a struggle, but some workouts can all be done either in your neighborhood or right beside your bed! 

I know that the right thing in life is to always care about others and that is extremely important, but when it comes to self-care you have to be your first priority or you will lose yourself very fast. Having a pet can be difficult, especially on a college campus. However, having that companionship and sense of togetherness one feels when playing with a pet is something that is invaluable. A pet is able to lift even the dreariest of moods up. Now, you don’t have to go and buy one. Having one is obviously great, but neighbors have pets, families bring them on weekends and GVSU even has dog days during finals week that are there purely to help lift the student body’s spirit up in those dark, dark times. 

Self-care is no laughing matter and I hope that that readers at least realize that taking care of yourself isn’t something that only certain people need to do. Everyone has to take care of their minds just as much as their bodies or else their bodies and minds will overwork themselves. Don’t let the world take control of you. Take control of yourself and let the world revolve around you.