Develop the habit of self-care this summer

Taking care of yourself now is important for stress relief, upcoming school year, overall well-being



Creating routines such as working out, eating healthy and meditation this summer can be beneficial for the next course load.

HANAH GOETZ, Evergreen columnist/opinion editor

When I was a zookeeper, my biggest issue was the inability to take care of myself.

I was falling apart outside of the zoo. I ate terribly, I dressed lazily and I binged Netflix more than I shopped for groceries. I was a mess.

But then it started to creep into my work and my health was greatly affected. I was getting worn out easier, I was mentally processing things slower and I started to worry about the animals I was in charge of taking care of.

It was a hard lesson, but the message was clear — I can’t take care of anyone else if I can’t take care of myself.

This summer is the perfect time for all of us to start focusing on taking care of ourselves. Instead of catching up on “Stranger Things,” get out, walk around, garden or take advantage of our student fees and hit the gym, since we’re paying for it anyways.

Angel Fenwick, a building manager at the Chinook, said that working with a gym has opened her eyes to the importance of caring for one’s body. Working in her position, she gained knowledge about self-care and appreciates the work that others do to take care of themselves.

“I’m usually the kind of person that goes to the gym, but isn’t the one that works heavy,” Fenwick said. “After working in the gym and working with it, I’ve learned not just about myself but about other people and their well being. It definitely changes how you feel about lifestyles.”

Naturally, in survival mode, we are want to take the easy route; chips instead of carrots, McDonald’s instead of a burger at home and beer or liquor for that sweet drunken relief. We are under the impression that this is temporary or that school is more important.

School is important, but not at the sake of your health, and this is far from temporary — you’re here for four years at least. That’s enough time for a habit to form.
But we also have to remember that self-care isn’t just about the image on the outside, it’s also your mental health, which is taken for granted and often ignored.

Turning inward is a task we are often afraid of doing, but it is essential to our well-being. We are often out-of-tune with ourselves, leaving us feeling lost, depressed and overemotional or oversensitive. Sometimes, it isn’t the exterior that needs maintenance, it’s the interior.

Meditation can increase happiness, acceptance, self-awareness and healthy lifestyles, according to the Huffington Post. If you feel you can’t sit still long enough for that, Fitness Magazine states that yoga has the benefits of stress relief, body love, increased immunity and even “improves the brain’s ability to quickly and accurately process information.”

This summer is the time to develop the habits and skills we can carry on into the school year. You shouldn’t have your health put on the sidelines or feel like you’re failing because you are unable to take care of yourself. Now is the time to step up and give your body what it, and you, deserve.