Between a rigorous course load, extracurricular commitments, and having some semblance of a social life, Kenyon can be a lot to handle. It’s easy to get swept up in our schools play hard work harder culture, but that doesn’t mean you can or should reject the things that keep you healthy. Self care has gained a lot of hype in the media as of late and for good reason, in order to do literally anything else you have to take care of yourself. Emotional health is a big topic on campus, which is totally awesome, but an aspect of it that isn’t emphasized enough is self care.
So, what exactly is self care? Essentially, self care is anything you do for yourself to help improve your physical, mental or emotional health. It’s about making the time to do the thing that recharges you and makes you feel good which is different for everyone. I personally self care by morphing my face with political figures and laughing at the image while considering what that creations political views would be. Maybe you prefer to listen to music of go to the gym, different strokes for different folks. The best way to practice self care is to have a designated time and activity to ensure you engage in it regularly.
What is Self care is not? Well, it’s not a lot of things. It’s not your free pass to shirk your responsibilities. For example, if you have a paper due tomorrow, it’s not self care to spend the day long boarding down Acland street. It’s also not an excuse be a jerk to others even if that’s what makes you feel good.
Why is self care important? Firstly, if you’re doing it correctly it will keep you healthy and happy. This of course is good in of itself, but it also allows you to be the best you can possibly be for all the other things you do. I also find that when I’m doing a better job at self care, I’m more in tune with myself and have more direction.
So the next time you’re super stressed out because literally all of your professors have assigned major assignments due in the same week, you’re supposed to run a fundraiser for cancer research, and it’s your best friends birthday and you forgot to but them a gift. Take a step back, inhale a deep breath, and do something that helps you manage then billions of thoughts racing through your head. It might seem counterproductive in the moment but, it will ultimately aid you in every aspect of your life.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Wiggin with friends
- It’s always nice to treat yourself to one of those AMAZING frozen mocas and talk about something not work related.
- Zumba at the KAC
- Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-5:30. It’s a really run way to exercise and get out of your head.
- Walk the Gap Trail
- Need to get some air or think about life, take a walk on a nice day!
- Get off campus
- Getting away from the hill is another great way to recharge and you don’t need a car to do it. Knox Area Transit will take you wherever you want to go (in Mount Vernon) free of charge Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays or, if you’re feeling super adventurous, you can walk or bike the Gap Trail all the way into town.
- Make an appointment with the Counseling Center
- The Counseling Center is an awesome resource. This cannot be stressed enough. Appointments are free for you to talk with someone whose job it is to help you take care of you.
- Lock yourself in your room and watch Netflix
- There are few greater ways to relax than watching Meredith Grey’s life get built up and then completely wrecked, over and over again.