Of course, I have to talk about what self-care looks like when you’re a student. As an undergraduate student, I have to admit I wasn’t exactly aware of self-care. As a young woman, before becoming a parent, although I was working full-time I basically had 100% control over my time. As a graduate student, parent of 2 (almost 3) little ones, and someone with the maturity to know what it looks like to invest in a marriage, that entire dialogue has changed. Self-care is critical to my success as a student and all-around “adult” (I think at 30 I have to accept that I am definitely an adult).
But what self-care looks like is probably pretty weird, and definitely doesn’t fit the popular culture model of what self-care looks like.
For me, physical clutter is basically a death sentence to any kind of helpful or productive brain process. When there are toys everywhere, I can’t focus on reading or writing academically. If there are several days’ worth of dishes on the kitchen counter, that’s all I can think about. Keeping my home *relatively* clean is an exercise in self-care because it helps me to focus on the brain work that is graduate work.
Self-care is sacrificing my lunch breaks to homework so that I can focus on my family in the evening and honor the fact that after a day of talking to everyone (sometimes that feels literal) I don’t have the brain power to process anything about organizational management or fundraising strategies.
Whenever possible (and this semester was a challenge, my professor wasn’t exactly on board), looking at the syllabus and planning out your homework in advance so that you have an idea of what to expect. Give yourself some wiggle room for those life catastrophes. Planning ahead can help you reach your goals.
If you’re a student, what are some things you do to make sure you have time for self-care?