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Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024
The Observer

The beauty of self-care

So much of our lives is spent doing things that don't allow us to always take proper time for ourselves. As college students, we worry so much about our futures— securing internships, studying for law school or medical school, lining up post-graduation jobs and so much more. Aside from thinking about the future, much of our time is also spent with what consumes us on a day-to-day basis. Studying for exams, writing papers, completing research projects and sometimes pulling all-nighters to finish up assignments is something I know many of us are familiar with. 

Whether it’s from an academic or a social standpoint, I think in college especially there’s always this urge to say yes to everything out of fear of not wanting to miss out and not wanting to fall behind. Oftentimes, if we say yes to everything, we end up spread too thin, sleep deprived and left with very little time for ourselves.

While my academics have always been important to me, recently, I have also learned the value in taking time for yourself. There’s something so important about taking the time to reset and refresh. It makes you a better person, and it makes it easier to focus on the things that can become so time consuming, like exams and projects.

This past week, like many others, I was swamped with midterms and papers. I spent most of my time studying, to the point where I realized I was severely sleep deprived by the end of the week. I even once went to bed at 7:00 AM and woke up three hours later for my first class. It’s safe to say that day was pretty rough for me. By the end of the week, I couldn’t wait to sleep. I felt I could sleep forever — and that’s not an exaggeration.

In my state of intense sleep deprivation, I started thinking about the things that I do (or should do) in order to prioritize self-care, as well as the things that my friends do to prioritize self-care. Given that I am writing this on Sunday, aka the day I deem Self-Care Sunday, I thought I’d share the top five things I do to prioritize self-care:

Go for a walk

We live on such a beautiful campus, surrounded by so much green space. I often find that going for a walk around campus or around the lake provides me with the best time for self-reflection. I still have this pinch-me moment every time I walk past the Dome. I realize it is important to enjoy the moment and make the most of everything, because it doesn’t last forever.

Do some skincare

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am obsessed with skincare. I am constantly researching new techniques and am always down to try out the newest products. Skincare is something I’ve realized you have to be consistent with if you want to see the best results. Even though it is something so quick, taking 10 minutes at the beginning and end of each day to do my skincare is something that really helps me take a step back and de-stress. In my opinion, skincare is self-care.

Take time to call your family

Oftentimes, I feel like I am so busy that I rarely have time to make phone calls. Whenever I do make those calls to my family, though, I am reminded of how much I needed it and how much they appreciated it. Your family and friends are arguably some of your biggest supporters, so prioritizing them is a huge part of self-care.

Enjoy a lowkey night with friends

The other night, instead of going out, my friend and I decided to stay in and watch a movie. Prior to watching the movie, we ordered food and headed over to the Huddle to grab some of our favorite snacks. While our night was different from most nights, it really allowed us to make self-care a priority, all the while enjoying time with one another. 

Take a trip to the Grotto

Whenever I am feeling stressed out, I find that taking a trip to the Grotto, whether it’s in the afternoon or sometimes as late as 2 AM, helps me de-stress. It’s a time where distractions are minimal. My phone is put away, and in that moment, I take the time to just simply be. I think about my worries and stresses and pray for God’s guidance. I find that whenever I leave from a trip to the Grotto, I feel refreshed, as well as a sense of newfound calmness.

There are many ways to prioritize self-care, and each person has their own unique way that works for them. Whatever it might be for you, I encourage you to take time out of your week for yourself and your own well-being.

Isabelle Kause is a sophomore at Notre Dame studying sociology and minoring in journalism. When she’s not busy, you can find her listening to country music or Taylor Swift or trying out new makeup/skincare products. She can be reached at ikause@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.