Matric Peer Guide in charge of Marketing
It's too easy to be swept up in the frantic chaos that comes with the beginning of every year. We often forget how important it is to take time out of your day to do something purely and wholly for yourself. Maybe you’re the friend who always looks after everyone else, but doesn’t take time for yourself. Self care is not all avocado masks and long relaxing bubble baths. You have actively to put in time and effort into keeping your body, mind and soul content. While the Youtubers make it look so easy, you may find yourself running out time for doing things you actually enjoy, or will actually benefit your body. We are four weeks into term 1 and I am sure taking strain, both mentally and physically, as I'm sure many of you are. I encourage everyone to do some self analysis and take a look at your self care routines.
Sometimes it is important to take a day off, to leave that project for a while, to watch your series or see your friends. But self care is not only taking a break. Sometimes the best way to look after your mental state is to do all your homework, get on top of your work, and meet those deadlines. You’ll avoid the anxiety of sitting in class knowing you haven’t done your homework as your teacher picks on people to answer. You’ll avoid the all nighters and prevent frantic mornings in the computer room printing your project on the morning it’s due. So don’t use self love as an excuse to neglect your school work completely, but, if needed, give your mind a rest.
A lot of us are emotional eaters and I know just how easy it is to indulge ourselves after a long hard day. And that’s okay, sometimes you just need the chocolate. But feeding your body healthy food is a form of self care that is so important. Our bodies function better when we’ve had full nutritious meals. You’ll not only have more energy, but you will feel more content in your own skin. Taking time out of your day for healthy habits is something that is invaluable to our mental health. Exercise, and no I don’t mean hectic gyming for 3 hours every day, is a form of self care that is so often overlooked because it is abused by so many. Take a walk outside, breath in the fresh air, get your body moving and blood flowing. Endorphins are not a myth, exercise can really help clear your mind and make you happier. Find something that works for you. Try a different sport that you can do after school with your friends. Take your dog for a walk or ride a bike. So often exercise is shoved into this box of being boring or painful or embarrassing, but once you find an activity that you enjoy, you’ll notice the difference in the way your body and mind feels.
You have to get enough sleep. If there’s one thing you take out of this blog, let it be that sleep is the most important form of self care. A car cannot run without filling up with petrol. Sleep is the petrol for our bodies. You need to recharge. It’s unsustainable to run off 3 hours of sleep everyday, and I know there are people who will disagree (probably matrics) but the bags under your eyes and the constant headache and the falling asleep in class will not simply disappear. You need to sleep.
There are so many rules out there trying to tell you how to manage your school life. How much time you should be spending on homework, what marks you should be getting, what you should be doing on the weekend. If you’re feeling overwhelmed (and trust me, most of us are) one way to help feel more in control of your own life is to take time out of your day simply and purely for yourself. Journal, take some photos, go for coffee with friends, go to the beach, make your oats with chia seeds and goji berries in the morning, drink your coffee slowly, meditate, do some yoga, go for a run or a walk, paint something, solve a crossword, play with your dog.
My point is, self care is not a ‘one size fits all’ journey. It’s personal, relative to who you are as a person. So think deeply about how much time you put aside for yourself, how much time you need to clear your overwhelmed and stressed out brain and re energize yourself for tomorrow. So give yourself some love and care, you deserve it and your body will thank you.