Have you heard the term “self-care”? It seems to be a phrase that is being brought up more often these days, and with a good reason. Growing up is challenging. Developmentally, being a teenager (especially in our digital world) can be exhausting. Adolescents are frequently under pressure with school, friends, extracurricular activities and life, in general. Self-care is vital in helping us create a sense of stability and confidence in our lives. It is important to explore what types of self-care strategies work for us, and it is important because students are really needing help with developing this skill.
What is self-care?
Self-care is about finding time in your day to pay attention to you and take care of yourself. It can be anything that you enjoy doing that helps make you feel good about yourself, and helps maintains your mental, emotional and physical health. It can be simple everyday activities like going for a walk outside, reading a book or taking a bath. It can also be enjoying a cup of coffee with a peer, cleaning your room to feel more organized or putting your phone away to reconnect with yourself, friends or family. Whatever it is, it’s important that is makes you feel good about you.
Why is self-care important for families?
For families, self-care can assist parents and loved ones of adolescents in managing the day to day occurrences they face in a supportive manner. When care givers are able to demonstrate self-care, it is suggested that your child will be encouraged to do the same – learning how to take care of themselves by building a healthy coping skill “toolbox” to use as they get older. Far from being selfish, modeling self-care can be a valuable instrument to foster in your family.
Self-care at St. Mary’s
Our students are strong advocates for themselves and have been open to talking about their stress, and wanting to promote mental health, self-care and stress management within our community. Self-care seems like a buzz word in the counseling universe, and it’s because it is something that our students are really needing help with.
During our Women’s Empowerment Week, the counselors gave a mental health presentation on why self-care matters. Students were able to engage in conversations, sharing ways they use self-care and how it is beneficial to their overall well-being. It was inspiring to see how much our students care about one another, wanting to celebrate and explore ways we can promote self-care at St. Mary’s.
In continuing the celebration of self-care, our goal is to bring awareness to the importance of taking care of yourself and finding balance in our lives. The counseling center revealed a Self-Care Matters bulletin board, sharing self-care ideas from students and faculty members. Displayed on the bulletin board are six self-care coping techniques:
- positive self-talk
- desk stretches
- mindful meditation
- calm breathing
Students, faculty and families can learn about and practice and/or incorporate these techniques in the classroom or at home. Come stop by the counseling center and take a look!
Emotional, mental and physical health are so important to our overall wellbeing. Regular application of self-care can keep you feeling empowered and help manage everyday stressors in your life. With that being said, there has never been a better time to start practicing self-care. You’re never too old or too young to start taking care of yourself.
For any further questions, concerns or thoughts please contact us in the counseling center.