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The Rebrand of Self-Care

By: Anna McLeod (she/her/hers), Peer Success Leader, 2022-2023

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the phrase self-care? If you asked me this question a year ago, I would probably answer with a generic response along the lines of face masks and a bubble bath. Yet, there is so much more that we do for ourselves than apply a few face serums or make a cup of tea. Self-care encompasses the aspects of life that make us feel reenergized, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being. 

As college students, we’re frequently bombarded with the many demands of student life. It can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to reach our goals without prioritizing self-care. 

Scheduling time for a workout or a game night with friends is often placed at the bottom of our to-do lists. Burnout is almost inevitable without a breath of fresh air.  

Crawfest
Enjoying Crawfest
 

While self-care is a necessary aspect of our everyday lives, it shouldn’t feel like a burden. Self-care does not have to be a massive time commitment and can even be 5–10 minute chunks throughout the day.

On days when my schedule is especially packed, listening to my favorite song or taking a few minutes to journal can make all of the difference.

 

One aspect of self-care that is overlooked by many college students is prioritizing sleep. Sleep is essential to physical and mental health along with academic success. Besides promoting cognitive function and memory, sleep enhances immune system function.

During my freshman year, my friends and I were constantly sick with the latest disease rotating through the dorms. While it’s impossible to avoid all of the germs we’re exposed to living in a communal space, a few trips to Urgent Care may have been avoided if we got our 8 hours. With all of these benefits in mind, going to bed an hour earlier may just be the ultimate form of self-care.   

A common misconception is that self-care is only for wellness junkies that wake up at 5 am. Self-care is meant to be flexible and meet us where we are.

When self-care becomes a chore, it may be time to reassess. Self-care is meant to enhance our life, not make it miserable. We can’t overestimate the value of taking time to do what makes us happy.

Some ideas for self-care curated by current Tulane students:

  • Play Just Dance  
  • Bake cookies  
  • Movie night  
  • Go for a walk  
  • Listen to music  
  • Journal  
Anna and friends skating
                                Taking a Skate Break