The Basics of Self Care


Photo by Images provided by Pixabay

Examples of key elements to self care.

Dealing with the new stresses of the virus while keeping up with everyday lives has been a challenge throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With an increase in stress, it is crucial to maintain a steady self-care routine.

According to the American Psychological Association’s survey, stress levels have increased with the beginning of the pandemic

“The average reported stress level for U.S. adults related to the coronavirus pandemic is 5.9. When asked to rate their stress level in general, the average reported stress for U.S. adults is 5.4. This is significantly higher than the average stress level reported in the 2019 Annual Stress in America survey, which was 4.9, and marks the first significant increase in average reported stress since the survey began in 2007,” the survey reported.

While undergoing the extra stress of COVID-19, there are the three important things to keep in mind: exercise, sleep, and nutrition.

School counselor Julie Ritter shared that it is important for counselors to follow what they recommend. In this past year of the pandemic she’s been trying to find a balance between her personal life and meeting those basic needs.

“I’m prioritizing my sleep and nutrition and getting outside to stay active,” said Ritter. “I think staying active is one of the most effective ways to stay mentally healthy.”

Ritter emphasizes the importance of activity, not just for physical health but also for maintaining connections.

“Something that I have definitely upped the ante with is exercise. Getting outside with my family for hikes, we’re kind of an outdoorsy family so hikes, riding bikes, and walking our dogs have been pretty big for us,” explained Ritter. “And I intend to keep it because it’s been a really great way to stay healthy, kind of put the worries aside for a little while, and it helps us build relationships.”

Also agreeing with the fact that exercise is key, school counselor Nia Reddick mentioned that rest is equally as significant for self care.

“Resting is so important,” stated Reddick. “On the weekend, I do incorporate a nap and when I come home from work I incorporate a thirty minute power nap. I think that rest is important to recharge.”

Reddick recommends rest as something to make sure one is continuously taking care of their well being because it can be so overlooked.

“During this pandemic, I’m so for people getting rest. It’s very easy, since people might be virtual, for their sleep patterns to get messed up a little bit,” expressed Reddick. “Some people spend time doing homework until two in the morning because the idea is that I’m virtual so I can wake up at seven forty-five for my eight AM class, but that’s not the case. You still need to sleep to get up at seven twenty-five or seven thirty.”

Tartans’ Minds Matter club leader Cheyenne Degross thinks of self care as multiple things. Degross mentioned that she likes to keep up with her faith, make sure she’s in a healthy environment, and take care of herself internally.

“Making sure you are drinking water, eating enough food, and just getting exercise,” mentioned Degross. “I am making sure I’m drinking enough water, eating right, and doing things that I actually enjoy like reading comics or playing sports.”