“Self-care” is a hyphenated buzzword tossed around a lot in fashion magazines and news articles – it is often associated with momentary luxurious actions like taking a bath with bubbles involved or drinking on a work day. However – these bite-sized bits of care fall short when compared to self-care on a deeper level; on the level of the Big Three.
Diet, exercise, and sleep.
You may or may not be familiar with this triangle diagram. It’s not perfect, but it does illustrate the strain higher education can place on the different parts of a person’s life.
This triangle, on the other hand, is a bit more accurate- but there are still things that could be added. The problem remains the same – you’re faced with what is meant to be an impossible choice. From all the mornings I’ve heard people bragging about how little sleep they’ve gotten and social events they’ve had over the weekend, most people to prioritize their school and work over everything else.
This isn’t healthy – and it’s a losing battle. Forgoing the Big Three will lead to lapses in the other categories as well – inability to pay attention in class, showing up late to family events, etc. You can’t skimp the small stuff and expect to win big.
Spring Break is coming up. Get through the last part of this week, and use the time you have over break to fix your Big Three.
It takes about two hours on an online diet planner to put together a weekly meal schedule, and another two hours thereafter every week to buy what you need to cook your food. Try not to eat out.
Exercise can be a pain – but it can also be a relief of stress. If you’re just starting out, just try to get a few push-ups in the morning and go for a walk in the afternoon. If you’re a bit more advanced, switch the push-ups to chin-ups and switch the walks to runs. Get into weightlifting if you can afford a gym membership.
Lastly, sleep. There’s a lot of reasons in University to stay up late – finishing an online test you forgot about, trying to cram for an exam, or just plain insomnia. Try not to nap in the middle of the day. When you get around to scheduling the remainder of your semester – 24/7, don’t skimp the details – include scheduling your sleep. That includes scheduling an hour before you’re supposed to sleep for your mind to cooldown. Start waking up regularly, early, every morning – even on weekends.
It’ll be tough, but you can do it.
If you’re in nursing school, none of this applies – you’re doomed.