The Importance of Self Care
By Elizabeth DelConte, High School Homeroom Teacher
What is self care and why do I care???
Self care is an activity you do to take care of your mental, emotional and physical health. Many students will spend hours sitting in front of their computer working on their assignments but forget to take a break and focus on self care before getting back to work. Self care takes practice.
Below, check out some ways you can practice self care...because you matter!!!
- Sleep: Are you getting enough sleep? Do you get 8 hours of sleep a night? Do you need to put down your phone and turn off the lights? A good night’s sleep can make a huge difference in your energy level and mood so put down the phone, close your computer and turn off the lights.
- Diet: Food is fuel! Chips and candy may taste delicious but will not give your body the fuel it needs. A balanced diet that incorporates fruits and vegetables will give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to thrive.
- Eat breakfast daily, drink 6-8 glasses of water, keep healthy snacks on hand (nuts, cheese, fruits and veggies) so you are not always reaching for the chips.
- Exercise: good for your body and mind. Take a walk, do some stretching, ride a bike or find an activity you enjoy and move your body!
- Create a NO list: Make a list of things you want to say NO to. For example: I need to say NO to cruising Youtube when I am working on my school work, No to answering the phone when I am studying, No to eating that bag of skittles when I really need to eat lunch, No to hanging out with my friend who puts me down constantly.
- Take breaks: We all need a break and can start to zone out after staring at a computer for hours. Set an alarm and give yourself a scheduled break to replenish your energy.
- Do something you enjoy everyday: Dedicate a small portion of the day to your hobbies or interests. Set time aside to hang with your friends, watch your favorite show, listen to your favorite song, have a good laugh, cook your favorite meal, read a book, crank up the music and dance ...whatever you enjoy, take some time for yourself.
- Relationships: You are not alone! Put time and energy into healthy relationships. Talk to your family, friends, teachers and counselors and ask for support when you need it.
Whew...that is a lot to think about! But don’t worry! Start today by picking a few of the ideas above to start taking better care of yourself. And don’t forget self care takes practice.