Take care of yourself

California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB)’s Personal Growth & Counseling Center held a self-care workshop for students on Sept. 2. Faculty counselor Jessica Lopez hosted the event and dived into what self-care is, along with steps and suggestions to ease stress and anxiety. 

To be able to achieve self-care, one must grasp the concept of what self-care is. Self-care manifests in many forms, including resilience, which goes hand in hand with self-care practices. 

Lopez started off the workshop by posing the question “what is resilience?” Resilience, by definition, is one’s capacity to adapt well in the face of adversity such as trauma, tragedy or stress. By pointing out the hardships, resilience is not simply just “powering through,” something or avoiding it, but much rather being able to navigate through the circumstances one might be facing. Clarity leads to a better understanding of being able to take on that action, in order to preserve or maintain one’s health and happiness. 

To start building resilience, emotional health needs to be preserved. Self-care can involve maintaining social support to support a better mindset. There are various ways to ensure emotional health. For example, connecting with friends who have common interests, co-workers, a romantic partner, family member, therapist or even going out to dinner with old friends. Taking ourselves out of negative situations and allowing positivity to be let in are constructive methods of self-care.

Physical health plays an equal part to emotional health. It’s necessary to get a good night’s sleep, as well as eating well and finding ways to exercise, even just going for a short walk can make the difference. 

Taking care of oneself physically and emotionally is essential, but the most important part is finding out what causes feelings of anxiety or stress. After identifying the stressors, one can start to rebuild and strengthen the environment around them. Creating a positive safe place designates an area where one can feel comfortable and at ease. 

For those with uncertainties, it can be challenging to maintain and balance self-care. Lopez highlighted a new online wellness platform CSUMB is offering to students and faculty called “You@CSUMB.” 

The platform is anonymous and can be personalized by the user. Simply login with your Otter ID and complete a series of simple questions, customizing the dashboard to better support academic, mental and physical needs. 

While these suggestions can be used, one may still struggle to find practices that work best for them. Balancing school, among other hardships in life, is an everyday battle. As the world is continuously changing, especially amidst an almost two-year long pandemic, taking care of yourself is crucial.

Lopez would like students to think about self-care as an intentional act. 

“Self-care can help us respond to stress and life challenges,” Lopez said. “Small practices add up.” 

Lopez encourages all students to search for practices and safe places that best fit them – using You@CSUMB is a great start. The next self-care workshop from the counseling center will tackle mindfulness on Sept. 30. Otters are urged to check-in and gain some useful tips! 

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