As a member of Generation Z, it’s hard to ignore the constant demand for self-care. Although this seems like an oxymoron, we can’t deny that in this day and age we are constantly bombarded with exercise routines, face masks, and Pinterest boards all dedicated to taking care of ourselves. While this is a pursuit definitely worth going after, sometimes it can be difficult to find a good way to actually follow through with our plans.
Sometimes college can be helpful with this. At Endicott, we have a handful of opportunities for students to get their dose of self-care. For example, this week we held an event called Fresh Check Week, which honored the month of September as National Suicide Prevention Month. A variety of clubs hosted virtual and socially distanced in-person events which promoted self-care. Her Campus Endicott actually put on our own event, where we decorated mirrors with positive words of encouragement that students could add to and take pictures of.
Events like these can be great to get involved in, whether you attend or host. I know I find a great deal of joy in making other people happy, so helping with self-care related events can be a perfect way to stock up on inner peace. If your college doesn’t already host events like these, it could be good to gather a group and try to build something of your own. Especially in these times, it is so important to create safe, supportive spaces wherever you can. Getting as many people involved as possible could create a self-care initiative that could benefit not only you but the entirety of your campus.
Another opportunity Endicott provides, and is something that anyone can do individually or in a group, is The Weekly Practice. This is a group that meets- you guessed it- weekly, and goes through some of the most important facets of self-care. While many people experience self-care as personal hygiene or taking time for yourself, others practice exercises such as meditation and yoga to achieve good mental health. And in the time of COVID, these practices have become more and more accessible.
At Endicott’s Weekly Practice, we talk about a variety of exercises from yoga poses, to breathing, to mindfulness, which help clear your mind and relax your body. As someone who has struggled with stress and anxiety all my life, I have learned that these practices can be absolute life savers. Not only that, but they’re easy to do and can fit into even the tightest schedule.
The basic premise is this: find time each day to focus on your breathing. Let all of your thoughts, stressful or unimportant, drift away. Take yourself away from your mind and into your body. With every breath, let your body relax a little more. Just 10 minutes could make you feel more serene and ready to take on your day! But, don’t worry. If you have doubts about trying meditation or yoga by yourself, there are endless resources online, especially on Youtube, which can get you on the right track. So whether you have your own Weekly Practice club or not, you can still participate in these exercises.
In the end, self-care can make or break our day-to-day lives. Although it can be easy to forget about it, or put it on the backburner, it is something that needs to be prioritized, especially in college. Luckily, there are thousands of techniques and ideas floating around the Internet. Once you find something that feels right for you, stick with it! Let the mindfulness and good vibes carry you through the rest of the year and into the next. Also, don’t forget to share your good vibes with others who may need it too. In 2020, all we can do is take care of ourselves and others until the trouble passes.