2018 has already proven to be a hot dumpster fire, but for Cal State senior, Erin Tjiowstsky, self-care is the best way to decompress. Her method of choice is her yoga and meditation practice.
“Without my daily practice of meditation and 30 minutes of yoga, I would not be in the right head space to take on the day,” Tjiowstsky told Her Campus. “It’s vital for college women, and women in general to make sure they’ve taken care of themselves before they try to take care of others.”
Meditation and yoga are two common practices and are scientifically linked to boosting practitioners immune systems and decrease their stress. Psychology Today reports that meditation, increases positive emotion, decreases anxiety, increases immune function and can make you feel less lonely. So, of course, it appeals to busy college women.
Finding time in today’s chaotic world is as challenging as ever, but the American Psychological Association reports that women’s stress levels are on the rise, with little to no signs of slowing down.
The report cites external factors such as the economy, the state of the world and everyday factors triggering bouts of anxiety and send stress levels skyrocketing. While, the study outlines the ways in which women are much more likely than men to be stressed, it does note that women are doing much better at connecting with others and this can lead to an overall reduction in stress levels.
For Tjiowstky, there’s a power in giving yourself a quiet moment to just be mindful.
“The simple practice of taking five minutes out of your day to sit still, gather your thoughts and set an intention for the day has helped tremendously,” Tjiowstsky says.
Yoga instructor and recent James Madison University graduate Kathleen Kalinsky also said that yoga became such an important part of her life that she decided to become an instructor.
“I used to be someone who believed yoga was ‘just stretching.’ Then, I decided to give it a try myself,” Kalinsky told Her Campus. “I showed up for my first class and was so distracted by what I couldn’t do yet, but the instructor asked me how it was after class and said ‘You just started your yoga journey, be proud of that!’ Then I carved out time for teacher training and it was the best decision I’ve made for myself.”
For instructors, it’s even more fulfilling to create a space that lets new yogis come to love and connect with their practice and benefit from some mindful self-care.
“My main purpose in teaching is to bring that same safe space for students to explore themselves deeper spiritually and emotionally,” she said. “My favorite part about practicing is being able to leave whatever is not benefiting me on my mat.”
So maybe a taste of yoga or meditation and mindfulness is just what your routine needs. Grab a mat, take a deep breathe and know were all fighting to clear our minds too, collegiettes.