As a social work student, we are taught from the very first class that we must take care of ourselves. Our job(s) will not be easy and will be emotionally taxing, therefore, thinking of activities and ways to emotionally separate from the craziness around us was strongly encouraged from the beginning.
Self-care looks and feel different for each person. One may enjoy a walk outside, a trip to the nail salon, snuggling up with a good book and a cup of tea, or simply, tuning into a favorite TV show or movie. It is a way to prioritize spending time alone with yourself to clear your head and refocus. I personally enjoy a trip to the gym to clear my head but also find myself journaling more often than not (pictured above). I find that during these times, I can communicate with myself and with God and some of the most healing comes from it.
Dealing with life abroad can be tricky at first but you have to find what works for YOU. You may or may not have had previous experience with the idea of self-care in general, however, I strongly recommend finding a time, space, or activity that allows you to push aside for the time being the homesickness, the exam coming up, the pile of work, the stress about leaving and going home. I promise you that the rough patches will pass and you will begin embracing life here at LCC if you intentionally want to experience life here.
Here are some things to think about in creating a self-care routine for yourself:
**For those Pinterest lovers like mwah, simply search “self care plan” and a surplus of ideas will come up.**
- What interests you and how can I incorporate that into my day? Think about what makes you happy and what you enjoy doing. Reading? Writing? Blogging? Running? The key is to find an hour or two to complete this activity and focus intently on yourself in that moment.
- What am I stressed about and what can I do to improve it? Focus on the things that are of utmost priorities, for example, the test on Monday is priority over the reading response due on Tuesday. Write down what comes first, second, third…and so on, on a sticky note. They are my best friend when it comes to this.
- Your self-care will look different from your friends’. Try not to compare your movie night by yourself to your friends’ killer workout in the gym. If your mind was distracted temporarily by the Disney movie, then task completed.
– Cameron, Messiah College