The extremes of self-care

Kellie Nock

Your room smells like a day spa and your bank account is empty from overspending on essential oils and face masks. You have three overdue assignments, and it’s Sunday night; you have a paper due tomorrow, which you have not started yet.

There is no shortage of stress when you’re a college student. Everyone copes with this stress differently, from drinking to relaxing to whatever works for you. Maybe you binge watch baking shows on Netflix like I do.

Self-care has been around forever. The idea of it existed well before Twitter got a hold of it. As time has gone on, however, the definition of self-care has changed.

Now, there are a few problems with this new definition. For the most part, it’s good that there’s been an emphasis on self-care. Millennials are known as the most anxious generation in history, according to the American Psychological Association. So it makes sense, then, that we have tried to find new ways of coping with stress.

Most methods of self-care work in a small way. Aromatherapy can ease stress, and yes, retail therapy is a thing. However, I certainly wouldn’t recommend blowing your entire paycheck in one fell swoop simply to feel a little more relieved. Taking care of your body can help you feel better and more organized, too.

This isn’t an argument against these methods. I utilize them, too.

Truthfully, the best self-care is personal responsibility. While little things help, at the end of the day, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be on top of things. Time management and organization may seem daunting at first, but when you take tasks step by step, you’ll find that they get easier later on.

So often, it seems that self-care is all about shirking responsibility and sitting inside, doing nothing all day. While a day like this can truly help, that only happens when you’ve got everything else situated already. Otherwise, your stress will eat you up and cause more problems in the long run. This is the problem with “Twitter self-care,” as I call it.

“Twitter self-care” tells you to ignore that exam until the last minute, buy all those snacks and turn your face away from everything that may cause you stress. While ignoring stress is one way of dealing with it, that only prolongs the problem later on. “Twitter self-care” tells you that diffusing essential oils and taking bubble baths is all you need to relieve anxiety and stress.

My advice? Put down your phone, set some time to relax and not think, and work on your stuff. The sooner you get hard work out of the way, the less you’ll be stressed later on, and the more time you’ll have to take care of yourself.

Kellie Nock is a columnist. Contact her at [email protected]