Last week was all about rest and relaxation, right? At least, it was supposed to be. In that case, this post may seem a little late for you. But if you had a Spring Break like mine, you might feel just as tired as you were before break. As we move into the final stretch of the semester, I’m finding it hard to practice what I preach as a School of Public Health Student. I know that self-care is extremely important, but I don’t always make time for it. Between balancing school, career planning, and a personal life, it can be difficult to justify taking a minute to relax. I get even more overwhelmed when I think about what it will be like to balance my life while working 40 hours per week. To make self-care seem less abstract and more achievable—and to help you develop good habits before you get a job—I looked up some of the basics of self-care.
Self-care is not a one-time treat, it is an ongoing routine
If you’ve seen Parks and Rec, you know how it goes: treat yo’ self! It’s one day out of the year to splurge and, well… treat yo’ self. That may work on TV, but in reality? Not so much. Self-care activities should be small things you do regularly to reduce stress and better yourself. While splurging on something may feel good in the moment, the effect is only short-term. It may seem overwhelming at first think about fitting something else into your day, but remember, small changes will add up and make a big difference. Check out this guide on developing a self-care plan.
Self-care is for your mind, body and soul
Not only should self-care be a routine, it is also more comprehensive than you might think. To try and achieve full balance, you should be engaging in self-care practices in all dimensions of your life: emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, social and vocational. Like I explained previously, it’s not as simple as indulging in a pint of ice cream or binge-watching the latest Netflix release. That’s like trying to put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. These behaviors should be intentional and specific to the dimension you want to target. For example, do you remember to call your family members? That’s social. Do you spend time reflecting on your goals and your achievements? That’s spiritual and psychological. Try this assessment on your current self-care behaviors—you may get some ideas for what to try next.
The experts know their stuff. Take a listen.
Upon googling self-care, one finds a whole series of videos put together by the Ted Talks folks. If they are talking about it, it must be important. There are nine videos total (and I know you don’t have time for that), but I challenge you to listen to two. There are videos on vulnerability, mindfulness, and rethinking stress, and much more. These people know what they are talking about and they have some good tips for you.
Rachel Brown is a first-year graduate student. She is pursuing a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Professional Health Education. Rachel loves sharing her passion for health and wellness with others, traveling to new places, and enjoying a good meal.
IUSPH Career Services
Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:
•resume and cover letter preparation
•graduate school preparation