TREAT YO’ SELF (Part 2)
By Camara Chea
Peer Educator Camara Chea continues to give great advice for how you can practice self-care and feel better about yourself. To read Part 1 of this post (and see Camara’s first three tips for self-care), click here!
Hi, you! Welcome to the second part of “TREAT YO SELF”! In this last post of the two-part series, I will talk about other strategies that you can use to improve your well-being and mental health. If you haven’t read the first part, I really recommend that you check it out.
It’s really important that you take time to do things in your life that make you happy and improve your state of being. Balance is key. Especially now that it is midterm season here at UCSC, hitting the books might be the only thing on your mind. But remember, all things in moderation! So even though you may be in a studious frenzy, don’t forget to get enough sleep, take care of your needs, and be kind to yourself. And now…here are the rest of my tips!
One thing you can do to nurture your well-being is to connect with others. Developing strong, healthy relationships with other people can lead to greater feelings of happiness and belonging. But remember, it’s about quality, not quantity. Instead of focusing on likes or online friends, try turning your attention to making real connections. Especially in college, it’s vital that you satisfy your need for interaction. If you feel that you haven’t, try getting out of your comfort zone: talk to someone new, get involved (Student Clubs & Organizations), and spend quality time with family and friends. Building and maintaining these relationships can add meaning and enjoyment to your life, as well as improve your communication skills.
Something else that you can do is get organized. Have you ever noticed how overwhelming clutter can be? If you’re someone who can relate to this, it’s time to clean out your room, backpack, and life! Try to clear out things that make your life messier or drag you down. Because if it brings down your wellbeing…why bother? One thing you can do is organize your house/dorm room. Removing unnecessary clutter can help with concentration and facilitate your daily routine. It also just looks nice!
Not only that, you can organize the way you think and the way you approach life. Take the time to organize your daily schedule, activities, and commitments. Stop procrastinating and try to set goals that you’ll actually stick to. Making priorities will also help you decide what needs to be done and when (studying > Netflix?). If you’re not having to constantly cram, you will reduce the amount of stress that you have and give yourself more time to enjoy life.
Another worthwhile way to help yourself is to also help others. I really find that when you give back, you can improve your outlook and mood. Regularly practicing gratitude and service to others encourages a sense of community, self-worth, and positivity. Knowing that you’ve made a difference can change your perspective in a good way. Some ways to give back to others include smiling at people, remembering your manners, being there for someone, and expressing genuine gratitude. You can also volunteer with an organization or with one of the many community service clubs we have on campus (Student Volunteer Center, Circle K, Rotaract Club). By helping others, you can also take some of the focus off of your own issues and realize that even the little things can make someone’s day!
The last suggestion I have for you today for improving your well being is to practice self-compassion. You’re human. Cut yourself some slack sometimes. Maybe you didn’t get the internship you wanted, or maybe you received a low grade on a project. Sometimes people are a lot harder on themselves than anyone else. However…everyone makes mistakes at times. Make sure to be kind to yourself, especially when something negative happens. Instead of thinking that you’re a failure or that you’re never good enough, use the situation as an opportunity to examine what went wrong, accept responsibility if needed, and continue to persevere. Try to be optimistic in your abilities and worth; you got this!
While on Parks and Recreation, “Treat Yo Self” is more about indulging yourself with the material luxuries of life, in real life, try to think of treating yourself as something for your mind AND body–a way of adding meaning to your life, improving your health, and enhancing clarity. Life is stressful, as we all know, but life is also fun and exciting and full of so many things, people, and places. So, on that note, I hope that my tips serve you well and that you will begin to treat yourself on the daily!