Take time to focus on self-care

From essential oils to herbal teas, anyone can find a combination that works best for their needs


JONI COBARRUBIAS | The Daily Evergreen

By making small changes, like taking a moment to relax and drink a comforting beverage or investing in an oil diffuser to help you concentrate, you can make a large impact on your school performance or just increase your overall happiness.

NINA WILLIS, Evergreen columnist

We’re always told it’s important to take care of ourselves when we go off to college — to remember to eat right, get plenty of sleep and sometimes take a little time for ourselves. But lately I’ve been wondering where to even begin.

I think the most important thing about taking care of yourself this year is learning to stay in the moment, like a mini meditation on-the-go.

Even for just five minutes, during a lunch break or in-between study sessions, take a moment to reflect on everything positive in your life and something you can look forward to in the future.

From experience, I know that may seem difficult to accomplish, especially when it seems like you’re buried in all those essays due tomorrow or that really big group project that only you are actually doing any work on.

A five-minute break from your essay doesn’t usually make a big difference in the end. Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, listen to your favorite song and then get back to work.

Sure, don’t binge-watch your favorite Netflix show until 4 a.m. every night. Going to an 8 a.m. class on three hours of sleep never works out well.

And even those buy-one-get-one-free carryout Pizza Perfection deals can last three days-worth of meals if you ration correctly — maybe don’t make a weekly habit of it.

But what can I do instead?

Heck, I don’t even know what to ask my dad for when he offers to send me a care package sometimes. But I figured because care packages are a typical college thing, what would I theoretically put in one to take care of myself this semester?

Essential oil diffusers are one soothing option.

Using water and your favorite essential oil, diffusers are a residence hall-friendly alternative to candles, SAM’s Apothecary Owner Kraig Brown said.

This is a worthwhile investment, considering its benefits in your living space. Diffusers will last you longer than a typical candle.

As far as essential oil blends go, I usually prefer citrus scents like orange, especially during an intense study session. It’s energizing and it helps you focus. For relaxation, jasmine and sandalwood always works well for me. There are multiple essential oil blends out there to try.

Brown pulled out an assortment of products, including teas and herbal remedies at SAM’s Apothecary.

“Do things that feed your soul, not just your ego and you will be happy,” he said.

He first showed me the “Remember to Breathe” tea by Isla Botanica, a blend designed to support respiratory health. Considering recent air quality reports, I think it’s more important than ever to remember that we need to breathe well to protect our health.

Returning to college, students have different immune systems from all over the world, making it much easier to get sick, Brown said.

Overall, I think we need to find what works best for us, as individuals. Maybe you find essential oils too strong, or you just can’t stand the taste of tea — keep trying new things because there is bound to be something out there that will work.