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Mental Health

The Importance of Finding Time for Self-Care


7-8PM is Me Time

My Google Calendar is chock full of classes, meetings, and scheduled study time. I’ve learned that keeping all my plans documented is the best way for me to stay motivated and organized. My classes are color-coded: meetings are in purple, and RA events are in salmon. Despite all this craziness, one thing I never fail to do is schedule an hour a day of self-care—whether that be cleaning my room, taking a meditation and yoga break, doing a face mask and taking a shower, or just going outside to get some fresh air. I make it a priority.

As the stigma around mental illness slowly decreases, students are now, more than ever, encouraged to take time for self-care. But are people actually prioritizing healthy self-care? When the semester starts overloading students, what are the first things to go? Sleep. Food. Exercise. Self-Care. We prioritize our work and meetings for extracurriculars and disregard the important activities we need to function healthily. Instead, we should adopt a mindset of pushing our physical and mental care to the top of our to-do list. If you’re not getting enough sleep or eating good food, the quality of your work is going to reflect that.

Self-care isn’t just face masks, spa nights, and painting nails. It’s unique to everyone and it gives us an opportunity to refuel, not take energy from us. One person might prefer to go out with friends and release some steam, and another might just sit in and read a book. Self-care becomes toxic once it starts taking energy away from us. Small treats that boost your mood are perfect self-care, but not mindless snacking. Taking time to exercise is great, but over-extending yourself and pushing yourself past your limit isn’t. With great self-care comes the responsibility of balance.

I don’t schedule my self-care to make it a chore or another thing on my list I have to cross off. By keeping it in my schedule, I remind myself how much of a necessity it is. If you’re a very organized person and stick to a calendar, I highly recommend blocking out time for self-care. Until then, don’t bother me at 7PM.

Anuja Mehta

Vanderbilt '21

Majors: Neuroscience and Computer Science "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new path"
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