Self care is a term that has been popularized in the past couple of years. It has slowly begun to take on many different shapes and forms in the hands of marketing specialists, psychologists, and bloggers. However, it is important to stop and ask yourself, what does self care really mean to you?


by Janely Cárdenas Vargas

I find it difficult writing the message I want to convey to you all. I’m going to be honest; my life right now is a little crazy. How do I deal with all of this? That’s a great question, isn’t it? I think I have the answer to it. I mean, with midterms, family matters, friends needing my help, school events I don’t want to miss; how does one take care of all of it? ALSO, how does one keep themselves sane? I sometimes wish I could duplicate myself, or triplicate or even quadruplicate myself.

Stress is real and it is very present!! It’s for sure making its presence known!! If this is true to you, I really want you to know that you are NOT alone; I feel you 110%. As a PEER educator, we share some common ground. I like to think that you and I are on the same team. I am here for you but you are also helping me – without explicitly saying so or even purposefully trying to do so.

SO, let’s remind each other that our bodies, minds, and spirits are important. I’ve forgotten that I MATTER!! Me, little Janely, matters. YOU matter! It’s easy to forget that our bodies are plants that need water, sun, and nutrient(s). We need to feed our flower. Feeding can take many different forms. Whether your food is exercising, listening to music, dancing, cooking, hanging out, meditating, drawing, painting, creating music, etc. Do what fuels your spirit and inspires you to keep going. If you have yet to find out what gets your warm feelings going, I suggest you explore!! This world has a lot to offer. I have yet to explore too. So far, I have found that right now, music is my sun, meditation is my water, and yoga is my nutrient. Notice how I said “right now.” Our water, sun, and nutrient(s) are constantly changing as WE change, grow, and evolve everyday. You don’t have to stick to one thing. You CAN have multiple kinds of fuels; let’s not restrict ourselves to one or three! Sometimes some fuels may work some days and other days they may not. That’s why it’s good to have back ups – a lot of them!

This might sound a little preachy but I personally believe that mindfulness, and self-awareness are the keys to finding inner peace. It is important that we all get to know ourselves; how we react, why we react, what triggers us, what makes us feel good, what keeps us sane, what helps us, who is hurting us emotionally, what situations make us feel uncomfortable etc. I encourage you to first start exploring what your sun, water, and nutrient(s) are! Once you figure that out, everything else may resolve itself. And if that doesn’t work, or if you feel stuck, or simply lost, I am here for you (and CAPS)! After all, we BOTH are plants trying to grow on this mad earth.