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Mental Health

My Guide to Practicing Self-Care

This past weekend I was fortunate to attend an all-girls retreat, Divinely Designed (D.D.), at the University’s Retreat House. Originally, I was introduced to D.D. through my friends at Scranton, who had gone on it in the past. The retreat could not have come at a better time, the week prior to the retreat was a mess. I was running around trying to get paperwork for scholarships in order, setting up appointments, finishing up my applications for studying abroad, studying for assessments, writing lab reports and making time to hang out with friends. I was not making any time for myself.

By Friday of that week, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I was so busy and caught up with school and friends, that the retreat crept up on me. I came back to the room around 3 pm thinking that I had time to relax and finish up some last-minute emails, when I remembered that the bus for the retreat was leaving at 4 pm! I threw some clothes and toiletries in a bag and prayed that this weekend would be an escape from reality.

The minute I got to the retreat house, a wave of calmness washed over me. It was refreshing to feel this way again. The energy that the team leaders emitted from their eyes and smiles was amazing. That was the minute I knew that this was going to be a great weekend.

Throughout the retreat, many team leaders had talks, which were then followed by activities. One that stuck out to me was a talk about practicing self-care. I realized that I, as well as many other, don’t take the time to step back from their busy day-to-day lives and take care of their mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. As a result of this talk, I thought about ways in which I can practice self-care. Suffice to say, I came up with a plethora of ideas, which I wanted to share with those of you who need to take the time to relax and be with you.

  1. Blast some music that pumps you up and dance like no one’s watching, or invite your girlies and have a dance party


  1. Set the mood and do some yoga
  1. Paint
  1. Go on a walk and be with yourself
  1. Treat yo’ self with a face mask, manicure and ice cream
  1. Read that book that you’ve been dying to read, but haven’t had the time to

By the time the retreat was over, I came back feeling better than ever. This past week was, as most people referred to it, “Hell Week”. There was a struggle to balance academia, relationships and myself. I was busy from the time I woke up till the time my head hit my pillow, it felt like I was spiraling downward. Luckily, I remembered the talk of practicing self-care. I was treating myself left and right and making sure that I was okay. At first, I thought of self-care to be selfish, but if anything, it is empowering and helps one re-center themselves in this crazy world. So I challenge you, to try and practice self-care as often as you can throughout your week.

Ashna Patel

Scranton '21

Sophomore Exercise Science Major at The University of Scranton
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