Self-care breeds confidence, happiness in college students

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“You only have one life, one body, one soul and you’ve got to preserve it to keep your body intact,” said sophomore public health major, Joanne Barnhart.

Self-care is an important tool for everyone to educate themselves on because it can improve mental and emotional health, make you happier in the long run and you will feel more confident about yourself.

Joanne Barnhart is a self-care fanatic who has been practicing self-love since early high school. She loves to motivate herself and others to take care of themselves so they can be healthier and happier.

“Once you master learning how to take care of yourself, you will stay happy and healthy and influence others to do the same for a long time,” Barnhart said. “You have to check in on yourself and ask if you’re really happy. If you’re not, get out of it.” 

Learning self-care is one of the hardest steps. After you check in on yourself, Barnhart suggests taking the time to stop and evaluate your schedule.

“I see what change I can do to make things better so I can recenter myself,” Barnhart said. “It’s no fun being out of energy and being unmotivated. I have to take the time to see what I can do for myself — I do not want to be overbooked.”

One of the easier steps is to start journaling. Here, you can sit down, relax and speak your mind through writing. 

“In your journal, write things you want to change, what is making you feel stressed, what would make you happier,” Barnhart said, “things you enjoy actively, your goals. If you have a hobby, you can start putting more time into that.” 

There are no bad intentions to having self-care, Barnhart emphasized.

“It is most definitely not a selfish behavior, but more self preservation; self-love,” Barnhart said. “It could be seen as selfish if people do not understand where you are coming from. Self-care all forms healthier relationships, positive behaviors, positive action. There are no bad intentions.”

Practicing self-care can be as simple as taking a walk, watching shows and movies, hanging out with friends to even baking or cooking. 

“I do face masks, spend time with myself by watching my favorite shows, taking naps, doing nails, working out,” Barnhart said. “Sometimes I go for drives while listening to loud music, I go shopping and I check up on myself and my friends.”

Self-care makes you think more clearly, makes you more energized and makes you have more focused decisions, Barnhart said. 

Self-love and self-care can be taught from your family, friends and even learned through small steps to push you in the right direction, Barnhart said. She suggests going online to search more ways you can find self-love and start to enjoy the little activities.

Cassondra Siaus covers relationships. Contact her at [email protected]