“I’ll squeeze in a face mask today,” “Maybe if I have time I’ll get a manicure,” “Hopefully I get to do something I love today.” These are some of the authentic thoughts and feelings that infiltrate in and out of our minds every day.
As we get older, the necessity of self-care whether it be physical, mental, or emotional slides off of the table because we have too much on our plate throughout the day. We decide to trade these things that make us feel good for the other thing that’s due at 11:59 p.m.
We’re so used to just pushing self-care for tomorrow when we should be doing it now. This traces back to how we treat, value, and make time for ourselves.
Self-care has always been one of the most essential aspects of life itself and when we speak about it, we often refer to the things that make us happy. Student Yassir Rahman shared his initial thoughts on what personal care means to him.
“I define self-care by being able to feel content with your mind, body, and soul. I never view self-care as wanting to be perfect. I just want to feel stable and comfortable with my situation in any form,” he said.
Rahman gathered that self-care is what makes you comfortable in yourself rather than the outside factors that take weight into your life. Alongside his perspective, student Fabril Desroches presented a more in-depth explanation of what taking care of yourself means.
“Self-care diverges into many different things. Cleaning your body, clipping your nails, brushing your teeth, etc. Self-care can also be a more mental thing, like taking time to understand your emotions, having a support system, talking to someone. These are just a few examples, but self-care is just taking care of yourself in as many ways as you see it mentally, physically, and emotionally,” he said.
Desroches expressed that there is more than one category to self-care but all of them share the same entity: providing for yourself. Rahman and Desroches contributed different viewpoints on what they feel self-care is and neither are wrong because self-care attains to us as individuals.
When talking about self-care, we tend to forget where the importance comes from for both ourselves and the individuals around us.
“I think self-care is essential especially in the world we live in now. It is difficult to care for others if you don’t care for yourself first. Life can get really stressful and sometimes you need to take a step back away from all the stress to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally and this will help you deal with things better in the future,” teacher Ms.Peruffo said.
She communicated that self-care is crucial because it forces us to take a step back and reflect on how we are really doing.
Contrary to this thought, student Zion Mcfarlane talked about self-love on a larger spectrum.
“Self-care is essential to the world. People around this world are different and unless people can learn to love and understand themselves they can’t learn to love and understand other people.
Self-love is the key to making the world a better place,” he said.
Mcfarlane made it evident that self-care is ultimately a form of self-love whether that’d be to ourselves or the other people around us.
Similar to these two point-of-views, student Tiana Persaud spoke about the importance of self-care and the effect it has on her and other individuals.
“Self-care is essential to me and the individuals around me because it allows for happiness and healthy thoughts, and can strengthen the relationship with individuals surrounding me. It allows for better communication and further engagement,” she said.
Persaud made it prominent that self-care allows and promotes you to be a better person. All standpoints make us reflect and evaluate what it really means to invest time into ourselves and how it is essential to the individuals around us.
Often when it comes to taking care of ourselves, we find it difficult to distinguish a balance on whether or not we spend enough time on it. Through reevaluation, Ms. Peruffo indicated that she spends more time on self-care than she did in the past.
“In my 20’s, I said yes to everything and was super busy and overworked myself. I became very run down and stressed and did not know how to handle it. In my 30’s, I started saying no to taking on too much and I try to incorporate more self-care,” she said.
Peruffo made it clear that she has learned one of the ways to set boundaries for herself which in turn provides her with more space and time for herself.
Correspondingly, student Mihail Karamanolev, expressed that especially because of the pandemic, he can spend more time on self-care.
“When I do have extra free time, I do end up focusing extra on my mental health and physical health, especially by reading and taking a nap, respectively. The pandemic has definitely helped me with giving myself more self-care,” he said.
Karamanolev verbalized that in his free time, he can dedicate it to things he truly loves to do.
Oppositely, student Sherlin Cordova believes that she does not spend enough time on self-care.
“I feel like I do not spend a lot of time on self-care as school right now is getting tough and COVID is making it harder to keep up with self-care,” she said.
While this pandemic has affected all of us in ways we could not imagine, it is harder for some to achieve enough self-care as Cordova vocalized. All highlight the different ways and reasons we maneuver through self-care.
Some individuals have no idea how to incorporate self-care into their daily routines. We are conditioned to think that we have no business in giving ourselves love on a day-to-day basis when this is not the case.
Guidance counselor Ms.Vargas communicated that talking to your inner child is something that has proven to be essential for the soul.
“I highly recommend that everyone cultivate visualizing oneself as a child receiving positive self-talk from oneself as a practice for self-care. It’s not discussed enough, but it costs nothing yet is highly effective. When we take the time to heal our inner child, we become the human we always imagined we could be,” she said.
She strongly believes that when we heal our inner wounds, especially the ones from a young age, we can care for ourselves on a deeper level.
In addition to how to implement ideas of self-care into our everyday practice, teacher Ms. Loscalzo suggests something we all need to do more of.
“Getting enough sleep. I don’t think enough people get enough time to rest and recuperate from the daily challenges that life throws at us,” she said.
Loscalzo disclosed that sleep is necessary for us to function throughout the day and it affects our moods.
Accompanying Loscalzo’s outlook on how to proceed with self-care through our regular schedules, teacher Mr.Favilla suggested self-affirmations.
“Self-affirmations give you the confidence and courage to accomplish great things. Speaking positive things about yourself into existence is important. I believe that we don’t hear—I said hear—enough good things about ourselves. We tend to focus on only what’s wrong, when there are a lot of amazing things about us,” he said.
Favilla voiced that the power of self-affirmation can help us induce positive thoughts in regards to ourselves.
Expressing a more full circle thought, student Bianca Almonte enlightened us that taking time for yourself is one of the most needed components of self-care.
“I feel like dedicating a set amount of time for us to just disconnect from the internet and everyone else is really important. Sometimes we become too reliant on the easy access at our fingertips whether it be quick communication, entertainment, passing time when we are bored and truthfully that isn’t good for our health as a whole. Out of the 24 hours in a day we should just take one hour to disconnect and focus on ourselves whether it’s lighting candles and drawing/painting or doing face masks and yoga or walking. Whatever it is, it would make a big difference,” she said.
Almonte summed up that to achieve the depths of self-care, we need to connect with ourselves in ways that access our inner happiness.
Vargas, Loscalzo, Favilla, and Almonte reinforced that taking time out of your daily routine to give yourself both love and care can have a huge impact on you as a person.
We all cease to have a good relationship with ourselves and the first step to that is self-care. Both taking a deeper look and reflecting on ourselves can be essential to our journeys in not only finding ourselves, but finding where we belong on this roller coaster of existence.