The importance of self-care

“When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.”

Self-care can take many forms and is vital to our health and happiness.

As students, we get caught up with deadlines and mandates and can easily forget to prioritize taking time for ourselves. 

Unfortunately, this negligence is a destructive habit. Dr. Matthew Glowiak, a clinical mental health instructor at Southern New Hampshire University stated, “In a society in which people are expected to work long hours and pass on vacation days … [putting off self-care may lead to] significant consequences, which may include but are not limited to burnout, depression, anxiety, resentment and a whole host of other negative implications.” 

When denying ourselves self-care, it can be difficult to get anything done. For the sake of happy and productive lives, it is important that we respect the importance of self-care and correctly apply it in our lives. Regarding this, Glowiak stated that self-care can “relieve the pressures of everyday life and reset [ourselves] … back to a healthy point where productivity is once again maximized.” Taking the time to take care of ourselves pays dividends in return.

“Perhaps the single most common reason people give for not participating in self-care is due to a lack of time,” Glowiak explained. “While many of us have a lot going on, it’s imperative that we take time out every day for ourselves, even if minimally.” 

Lexi Harvey, who graduated from UVU with her degree in psychology, agreed with this statement. She said, “There are a variety of things I do everyday for myself that help me stay sane. If I didn’t prioritize myself, I would lose the ability to do all the things I need to accomplish.” Lexi further explained, “I owe it to my peers to prioritize myself and my needs so that I can be the best for those around me.” 

Self-care may look different for everyone. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has explained that, “Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health.” Additionally, the NIMH has also provided ideas with which we can take care of ourselves, including getting regular exercise, eating healthily regularly, staying hydrated, making sleep a priority, trying different relaxation activities, setting goals and priorities, practicing gratitude, focusing on the positive, and staying connected with loved ones.

Despite busy student schedules, self-care is vital for our health, happiness and everyday productivity. If you want to determine what resources can help you in these efforts, try the suggestions above or visit the UVU Events, UVU Student Life and Wellness Center or UVU Wellness webpages. 

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