Are We Really Practicing Self-Care?

 

When we hear the word self care we think face masks and bubble baths, skipping class to take mental health days or ordering take out because we’re too exhausted to cook. But is this really self-care? Or are we setting ourselves on a cycle of bad habits and worse health. 

 

Inactivity, irregular sleep and bad diet are habits that are easy to slip into when dealing with depression and they all fit in with the college lifestyle. It’s easy to neglect your physical health in school because there is so much emphasis put on weekend binge-drinking, pulling all nighters and eating shitty food. 

 

College students have a high rate of mental health for a lot of reasons, one of which is the unhealthy environment we’re in at school. We run on three hours of sleep, drink way too much and eat nothing but carbs and sugar.

 

This creates a breeding ground for mental health issues but we rarely evaluate our habits. Prescription drug use increased 64% between 1999 and 2014 (American Psychological Association). Prescription medication is such an important part of mental health treatment, but we have learned to visit a psychiatrist before we take a close look at how we treat our own minds.

 

Your feelings of depression are valid, go to a psychiatrist. But before you agree to a medication, tell them about your habits and ask them if a change in your lifestyle could make a difference. It is possible to build steady routines and habits in college, you just have to learn how.

 

At the end of the day we still have to exist in this stressful, overwhelming world so we should be using every tool we have.