Self-care plays a significant role in keeping oneself physically and emotionally healthy. When self-care strategies are used, it increases a person’s self-worth and allows them to feel more resilient when stressful situations occur.
The benefits of resiliency can allow one to turn negative experiences into positive experiences. This can build a more optimistic perspective and help develop capacity in dealing with difficult situations that may arise. Self-care strategies are especially important in the university setting. Examples of self-care techniques:
- Eating regularly and nutritiously
- Having a good sleep routine
- Positive self-talk/reassurance
- Making time for yourself a priority
- Reward theory (having something to look forward to)
- Meditation/mindfulness practices
- Relaxation techniques (breathing, muscle tensing/relaxing)
- Having support persons easily accessible
Managing self-talk is about managing your reality. Positive self-talk is extremely important in building your self-worth, self-confidence and self-efficacy. Positive self-talk can also help decrease the internalization of stigma. It’s important to know how to turn our negative thoughts into positive thoughts so we can build ourselves up during stressful situations instead of letting the stress get to us in a negative way.
Listening to your inner voice is critical. Sometimes you can fool others, but don’t fool yourself.
Managing your self-talk is an important aspect of self-care. Let it help motivate you to get the help you deserve sooner, rather than later.
Making an action plan
Making an action plan can be helpful when you encounter a situation you feel may be potentially overwhelming and may cause stress. Your action plan will help you take logical steps towards a positive action for managing your stressful situation.
How to make an action plan:
- Recognize your stressful situation
- Identify feelings
- Seek supports
- Acknowledge options
Developing a good support system is a critical component of self-care and stress management. Seeking supports from many different areas of your life will help gain perspective and open up new social connections. Supports can come from anywhere – counsellors, doctors, friends, family, professors, etc. It’s often found in stressful situations, students can procrastinate and put off deadlines. Having a support person/system can positively encourage you not to fall into these negative behaviours. By working through them with your supports you increase the likelihood of meeting obligations and responsibilities. These are important factors in sustaining positive well-being and reducing stress.