This new semester may have started tough with COVID-19, online courses, and the coming winter weather. Doctors are more committed than ever to self-care after seeing a change in mental health over the past year. Iowa state students have found new changes in the way they care for themselves after their daily lives have changed.
Self-care is an important aspect of everyday life as it not only helps individuals take time out for themselves, but also improves their state of mind tremendously. The problem arises when people start to forget about the benefits of self-care and stop doing it. Things like reading a book, exercising, meditating, and just relaxing are the best ways to take care of yourself.
Some people have had to change their self-care habits in order to keep doing them. Jessi Allinson, a junior marketing officer, looked back on how she used to take care of herself.
“Before COVID, there were endless ways to add self-care to my daily routine,” said Allinson. “It was easy to find time in school with fixed class times, work, and other activities to integrate self-care into my everyday life.”
With more certainty, Allinson could have a more accurate schedule and know exactly when her class was, what she had planned for the day, and when she could find time for herself. Although she is now finding it easier to include herself in her schedule, the days are no longer what they used to be.
Most students find that their lesson plans change every day, and while some are able to adapt to them, others are not. For some, some form of self-care means taking care of themselves at a specific time of the day. Because classes are online and not as routine, students find it harder to stick to their schedule, which can be difficult for mental health.
“Having every meeting or event online is a different experience and doesn’t provide the opportunity for those personal socializations,” said Erica Rinehart, junior communication studies.
Erica Rinehart takes time to do things like walking, watching Netflix, and relaxing, despite having a very outgoing personality.
For extroverts like Rinehart, it can be difficult to have the interactions they normally look forward to. Rinehart is part of the Delta Zeta sorority. She joined the Panhellenic community to socialize and meet new people. It was difficult with new guidelines forbidding her to do so. Reinhart’s usual form of self-care was spending nights with her friends and taking a break from school. With COVID-19, things have changed, and she has changed the way she practices self-care.
“During COVID, I can still do things like go for a walk or watch Netflix shows, but things I enjoy doing with friends, like concerts or large group activities, can’t happen as they used to,” Rinehart said the sense of group activities; Still, I can take my time if I have to. ”
Although daily life has changed rapidly, Rinehart always maintains a good outlook on life and finds new ways to take care of himself. Although she may not be able to host the usual “girls night”, she was happy to go for walks and see shows. This time has helped her realize new things about herself.
When thinking about self-care, most people think that it is a private matter, but for some it happens in a social setting. When COVID-19 started people had to change their behaviors to make sure they were still doing things for themselves. Whether it meant going to a restaurant, hanging out at a friend’s apartment, or working out, individuals had to change the way they take care of themselves.
Zach Eaton, a junior civil engineering graduate, changed his self-care. At first he was one who went to the gym and found a way to hang out with friends. He even admits that his self-care has declined since the public limitation of guests began.
“I see a difference in my mood when I’m not going to the gym,” said Eaton. “I also see a difference when I am unable to be with my friends.”
When some people’s self-care routines change, they either choose not to spend time on it or they see their moods change if they don’t participate in things they enjoy doing. For Eaton, his favorite form of self-care is to exercise. He didn’t go to the gym as regularly as he used to and noticed a change in his feeling.
Eaton isn’t the only person to admit that they changed during COVID-19. Some people always take care of themselves at an adverse time, others have had to limit the way they do things. Eaton says he started going back to normal after things start to open up.
Self-care is currently a necessity in everyone’s daily life. As shown, if you don’t take care of yourself, it can affect your mood and mindset.