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Wellness

Self Care Sundays: How To Put Your Needs First

Firsts. 

Who knew the first word of the first edition of Self Care Sundays would be the word itself. What can we say, it’s an important word. In order to embark on a self-care journey, it might be the most important word. 

Firsts are vastly underrated and don’t get talked about enough. They happen more frequently than people notice, this is the first time this blog is being written, the first time someone goes to the gym in a while, the first time you try a restaurant, or even the first time you leave for class on time. These are all such common occurrences that most people don’t realize the power of firsts, even if it is the simplest part of their routine. The difference between performing self-care in your life and not could be a first, everyone has to start somewhere. This is why first, let’s address your basic needs. 

You may be familiar with a little thing called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we’re here to tell you it may not just be a developmental theory you look at once in a random psychology class. Maslow might have been onto something. To give you a little refresher, at the bottom of the pyramid used to display stages in life for an individual’s development is a section labeled “basic needs.” These are food, water, safety, security, rest, and warmth. Often times as college students there are so many other things on our minds, that it is so incredibly easy for these most basic needs to slip and not get met on a regular basis. Hustle culture is completely real, and like anything in life, it can present some real positives and negatives, “In our busy-loving modern society, too many of us have had the experience of eating lunch at our desks—or even working straight through the noon hour without sustenance, all in the name of tackling the items on our to-do lists. Unfortunately, powering through without a pause can do more harm than good, psychologists say.” ( Kirsten Weir, American Psychological Associaton) 

You’ve all heard the term burnout, and you all may be feeling it a lot more frequently than you’re willing to admit (It’s not something to be ashamed of). In fact, it’s so common that articles like “I need a break: 12 signs of burnout by Healthline” exist to indicate the symptoms that masses of people experience. 

First, taking care of your basic needs should be as common as burnout symptoms. They’re not, hence the importance of talking about such needs. However, the conversation can only go so far. This is when action needs to be taken. 

Have the courage to take care of these basic needs. Have the courage to first ask yourself if these basic needs are being met. Questions like: 

Have I eaten today? 

Did I get enough sleep last night? 

Am I really paying attention in class, or just going through the motions? 

When was the last time I did something socially, not pertaining to my work? 

Do I feel safe in my own body? 

Sometimes the answers to these questions are easy to discover. Some may take some pondering. It’s the same with potential solutions. Solutions may be as quick a fix as making sure you eat before doing anything else (because let’s face it, you’re no good to anyone, especially yourself, on an empty stomach). Other solutions may not be as easy to come to terms with. For example, the other day I decided to take the day off from classes to rest. That was not an easy decision by any means, but those classes would have been of no value to me anyway if I did them on autopilot and all I was thinking about was when I could rest again. It’s hard in hustle culture to realize that so much is expected of you, it can lead to people thinking there are consequences in taking time away for self-care. At the end of the day (and let’s face it, in college they’re all busy, incredibly long days) there may be much bigger consequences for your health if your body is not getting its foundational needs met. 

Embarking on a self-care journey entails a lot of firsts, this is true, whether it be trying a new product for the first time, reading a self-help book, or partaking in an activity that you never have before. In the whirlwind of all these firsts, a good place to start should be with your body’s most basic needs. 

Join us next time where we will be tackling the inevitable dark circles that come with being a college student. Don’t worry we have some great remedies that will brighten your day and your under-eye!

Kaitlyn Bancroft is a junior at Hofstra University in New York, following her passion to become a journalist. She enjoys eating chipotle and binge-watching as she procrastinates on assignments.
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