GC’s Self-Care Week

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Merritt Dismuke | A&L Editor

The Women’s Center hosted a Self-Care Week March 22 – March 26 as a part of Women’s History Month. Self-care, in the era of COVID-19, is a popular topic amongst college students fighting to survive the stress of midterms, social adjustments and heightened anxiety.

“Some self-care I practice is making sure I always go to the gym or always taking off my makeup at the end of the day no matter what,” said Sydney Robertson, junior biology major.

Self-care includes anything you do to keep yourself healthy (physically, mentally and spiritually). It’s often the first thing to go when Bobcats find themselves in challenging situations, whether because of poor health, finances, job loss, a bad breakup or, in our current situation, the COVID-19 pandemic.

A survey by a Boston University researcher of nearly 33,000 college students across the country reveals the increasing depression and anxiety in young people, now reaching its highest levels, a sign of the mounting stress factors due to the coronavirus pandemic, political unrest, and systemic racism and inequality. In stressful situations like these, self-care often gets put on the backburner.

“I enjoy doing yoga,” said Scarlett Steadman, junior nursing major. “Sometimes I’ll read self-help books too.”

Like Steadman, self-care options such as yoga, journaling, exercising and even cooking are viable self-care options. According to experts, self-care should be practiced daily, no matter the time it takes.

So, what does a self-care plan look like? The Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 8 dimensions of wellness include emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual aspects. Whether it be journaling, taking a walk at The Greenway, budgeting, reading a book, polishing a resume, working out at West Campus, spending time with family or meditating, self-care options are seemingly endless. Next time you feel bad about taking a nap, don’t!

Nevertheless, categorizing self-care in negative ways also exists. For many in college, binge-drinking, overeating and overspending are quick solutions to problems with negative consequences. Those who spend their weekends consumed in an overindulgent social environment often experience symptoms of burnout, depression and anxiety. Although it’s daunting for many, it’s important to take a step back, look at the bigger picture and spend time alone. In the era of FOMO (fear-of-missing-out), college students tend to throw self-care out the window. But practicing daily self-care leads toward improved overall health and wellness. Life is precious, and it is meant to be enjoyed; keeping a balance among social life and private time is essential in improving happiness. Self-care products and rituals are important to integrate into daily routines.

“For me, self-care can consist of hair masks and face masks,” said Kate Studervant, junior mass communication major. “Sometimes I burn incense while I journal.”

In the hectic environment Bobcats experience today, it’s important to create a self-care plan and become aware of mental health resources on campus. In addition to GCs Counseling Services department, a new mental health support program, called GC Mental Health, is now available. If you would like to schedule an appointment call (478) 445-533 or email [email protected]

Although tabling for GC’S Self-Care Week ended last Tuesday, the Women’s Center plans to reschedule their self-care zoom event. During the zoom, the Women’s Center will select a raffle winner who will win a basket full of self-care products. They hope that the event will teach students the importance of taking the time to take care of yourself and love your body. Stay updated via GC’s Frontpage to know when the upcoming zoom-meeting will take place.