For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jan 12 2016
by Mia Renee Cole

3 Reasons Self Care is Important and How to Do It

By Mia Renee Cole - Jan 12 2016

Self care is a new term for most of us but, really, it’s not a foreign concept. Caring for yourself every now and then is an important part of life that allows us to function completely without any distractions.

I could give you many reasons as to why self care is crucial, but here are the three most important:

1. We need to know when enough is enough.

Now that we’re adults and living away from home, we’re calling our own shots and we need to know when to stop and when to go. Allowing ourselves to get overwhelmed is not the right thing to do, even if we feel like it is.

2. We should balance stress and relaxation.

Stress is a normal part of life, which is why we should embrace it while in college. We don’t need it to take over our lives, though. This is why we need to find a healthy balance between the stress of classes and relaxation to ease our minds and bodies.

3. We want to put out our best efforts and succeed.

If we allow ourselves to get too stressed out, we won’t end up giving our best effort, and college is all about doing your best. In order to be successful young adults, we need to control our environment in a healthy manner.

How do we control our environments?

Some things are hard to control such as spilling coffee on ourselves as we run late for class or the last-minute pop quiz in a class you’ve hardly studied for. Though these things can sometimes seem like the end of the world, we can control the outcomes: how we react.

So what can we do? How do we “do” self care?

Do things daily that de-stress you.

Whether it’s going for a jog, sketching or reading for pleasure, always find at least thirty minutes out of your day to do something that makes you feel good and leaves you feeling better than when you began.

Take breaks.

Breaks are crucial for success. People that climb to the top of Mount Everest require breaks and go at a slow pace, so you can too. Whenever you find yourself feeling too overwhelmed, set down the books and take some time to unwind: go to the gym, watch a Netflix show or call your mom.

Get plenty of rest.

Adequate rest, just like breaks, is important for success. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and, if not, taking naps throughout the day. If you’re exhausted, you’re already going to be in a rough mindset, so why would you want to mix that with the stressors of college? Force yourself to sleep. (It’s not that hard.)

Find a way to laugh every day.

Laughter is a key to happiness, so finding something, each and every day that makes you smile or laugh is important. Document it in a journal or planner to reassure yourself that happiness is all around.

Surround yourself with positive people.

There is such a thing as a toxic friend, and they’re not a friend that you want around. Ridding your life of “toxic” people (AKA people that have a tendency to make you feel bad about yourself or bring out the negatives in a conversation) helps with YOUR mental health tremendously. Pick your friends wisely and make sure that your friends are treating you like you’d treat you.

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Mia Renee Cole - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mia Renee is currently the Senior Editor with Fresh U and a student at UNC Chapel Hill, where she is studying Spanish and French. In her free time she enjoys knitting, photography and drinking hot tea while writing on her personal blog. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @miareneecole or her blog at!

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