Stressful times emphasize need for self care

Nicole Surcel, Co-opinions editor

Nowadays, we’re so quick to get lost in what seems like an endless pile of tasks. Between schoolwork, extracurriculars and making the effort to spend time with friends and family, we end up with little time to ourselves. Even more disappointing is the way this constant sense of needing to occupy our time with a task has become a commonality in American culture.

What’s crucial for us to recognize is the necessity of dedicating time to ourselves and working to become better individuals. Self-improvement is one of the most beneficial and satisfying pursuits an individual can take, but our lives, filled to the brim with seemingly endless tasks, often make this a unfeasible goal.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the U.S. and a lockdown ensued last March, many of us felt uncomfortable and unacquainted with the endless time on our hands. Now that society is regressing to its previous stage of “normalcy”—that term, of course, is subjective—and our days become progressively busier, we must not neglect our own health, whether that be our physical, social, mental or other forms of well-being.

Moments like last year’s quarantine period teach us the importance of taking a pause in our daily affairs to focus on personal betterment.

By portioning out certain days of the week to engage in a feel-good hobby or an activity you enjoy, you’ll likely find yourself with a greater sense of comfort and ease at the end of a hard week. There are many other aspects that tie into an individual’s well-being, of course, but working to control this small part of your daily routine can do wonders for you.

Now, continuing to embark on the tasks that pervaded our pre-pandemic society has taken a toll on many individuals. Many of us have found this school year to be one of the most difficult times in our lives, with additional stresses added to our already congested plates.

That being said, it will tremendously help to engage in self-care every now and then. As I’ve said before, it never hurts to resort to a comfort activity that makes you enjoy time to yourself. Taking a break in the midst of a rather chaotic time will teach you a lot about your personal quirks and attributes that you previously were unaware of.

I, for one, have found journaling to be extremely calming and thought-provoking. I have also taken it upon myself to spend more time outside in nature with close friends and family, especially in times that I feel most stressed.

Having these self-care treatments to resort to offers me a sense of comfort all the time, both in the good and bad. So, whenever you find yourself overwhelmed—as if you are losing your sense of self— acknowledge the things that may be inducing such stress and temporarily back away from them.

Prioritizing yourself and your personal needs in these types of situations will ultimately do more good than choosing to neglect them.