Between classes, first and second jobs, trying to get enough sleep and attempting to have a social life, self-care is often thrown to the wayside for a lot of college students.
Taking "me time" is really good advice that we often receive when life gets too stressful. It's important to make time to take care of yourself, but it can be hard to understand what that fully means, what will benefit you the most and what will actually make you feel better.
In society today, self-care is often portrayed by face masks, bubble baths, a big glass of wine and sleeping all day under a mountain of comfy, cozy blankets.
For some people, this is exactly what they need to take care of themselves. Taking care of yourself physically and pampering yourself can make you feel refreshed and taken care of. Especially if you don't get much free time during the week, taking a nice long nap on the weekend or painting your nails with a new color may be exactly what you need to reenergize yourself.
However, this type of self-care isn't what everyone needs. Sometimes, they need the exact opposite.
For some people, self-care is a little more pragmatic and realistic. Sometimes it's getting out of bed for the first time in 24 hours or taking a shower for the first time in a few days. It can be really easy to get into slumps and ignore our responsibilities, or maybe our mental health is making everyday tasks even harder than they should be.
Having a productive day filled with getting homework done, actually eating full meals and getting out of your dorm or apartment are methods of self-care that are just as important and valid as taking a day off to go shopping. Don't let what self-care is portrayed as dictate how you spend the precious few and far between moments you have to work on yourself.
At the end of the day, the best kind of self-care is what works best for you, and you don't know what that is sometimes until you try. Whether it's a laid back day of doing nothing or grinding in the library from sunrise to sunset, just remember to take time for nobody else but yourself.
While you are in relationships with other people, the most important relationship you are in is the one with yourself. And just like any other relationship, you need to dedicate time to keep it healthy.