February 2, 2016
By Joannah Rivera
After coming back from a long break, most students feel refreshed and ready to tackle another year here at DU – until the stress of classwork starts to build up.
But experts say that students who take care of themselves now and give themselves time to relax will be in much better shape by finals week.
“There’s a lot of different ways to look at it,” said Stacy Gerberich, a Counseling Intern at Dominican’s Wellness Center, “From the perspective of time and focus, it is intentional. […] Self-care is more than just doing things that you like or are enjoyable but it’s an intentional decision to create time in your schedule for health and wellness.”
There is no way to lose with self-care.
“There are so many benefits,” Gerberich said, “If you want to increase your productivity, you want to increase your efficiency, increase your physical health or your mental health, if you want to be a better student, if you want to be a better partner in a relationship, a better friend.”
At times, self-care can be misunderstood. Words like “self-indulgence”, “laziness” and “negligence” are often used synonymously with self-care. Self-indulgence, laziness and negligence cause harm, self-care does the complete opposite.
In today’s society, people are actively glorifying being “busy”. Running from meeting to meeting and having a packed schedule are seen as signs of success but it is incredibly important that people take some time for themselves, whether that means taking a 15 minute nap, a long shower or just a few minutes to listen to music and relax.
“In college, it’s a great time to actually realize that you’re in charge of your life and all the different parts of your life.” Gerberich said, “For a lot of people, growing up […] as children we have other people take care of us. We have other people monitoring our daily needs, are we getting enough sleep, are we going to school, are we eating the right things [..] [At this point] self-care is really important because no one else is going to do it [for you].”
Here are a few ideas she has for self-care; taking a nap, spending time with friends, reading (something that’s not for class), doing one thing a day just because it makes you happy, playing a game on your phone, unplugging from all devices, coloring, etc.
The Wellness Center has many resources for self-care. For example, their Wellness Room is a great place to go for a quick nap or just for some quiet time. The Wellness Center is also starting new group therapy sessions revolving around self-care. For more information about resources, contact The Wellness Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.