Eastern students expressed their self-care tips in time for Self-Improvement Month and Self-Care Awareness Month, which is recognized in September.
Sam Hennegan, a sophomore English and philosophy major, said she practices self-care every day.
“I think it’s super important,” Hennegan said. “I mean, I have mental health issues myself, so I have been told time and time again, ‘You need to take time for yourself; otherwise, you’re going to just crash,’ and I’ve definitely noticed that if I don’t take time for myself every single day, then I do crash at the end of the day.”
Hennegan said taking a minute to clear her mind while taking deep breaths is her go-to self-care activity because of how quickly it can affect her.
“If I have more time, I’ll take a nap or I’ll eat something really healthy that I know I like to eat, or I’ll even just watch TV or something like that,” she said.
Senior accounting major Alex Smith said he practices self-care by working out or studying topics that engage his mind.
“Of course we all study; we’re students, but doing activities in particular that really challenge my brain and make me think very deeply, that’s what I do,” Smith said. “I think it is very important for people to practice self-care and I feel like those who don’t will possibly get left behind in some way or fashion.”
Smith said he thinks self-improvement is just as important as self-care.
“It’s important that each and every one of us understands how we can improve as individuals every single day,” Smith said. “I write down goals and I try to achieve those goals on a daily basis and see where I’m at, whether I achieve them or not. As long as I made strides towards that, then that’s, in my opinion, self-improvement.”
Setting those goals has helped Smith “tremendously” in terms of growing into the man he wants to be, even though he said he still has some obstacles to overcome.
“At 21 years old, I’ve grown a lot since I’ve been 18 or 16, but I’m still not where I want to be academically, spiritually or even financially,” Smith said. “There are different definitions and areas of growth, and in terms of how my plan has helped me, it’s coming along (and) I’m progressing.”
Hennegan said there are always ways for people to improve themselves.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re two or if you’re 102,” Hennegan said. “You can always improve yourself, and the best way to do that is to tell your friends that you want to continue working (on yourself).”
Active Minds, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to mental health, said on its website that self-care is an important part of maintaining a healthy relationship with oneself.
“It means doing things to take care of our minds, bodies and souls by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress,” the website said. “Doing so enhances our ability to live fully, vibrantly and effectively. The practice of self-care also reminds both you and others that your needs are valid and a priority.”
Merriam-Webster defines self-improvement as “the act or process of improving oneself by one’s own actions.”
Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]