Hi everyone! My name is Reed Yoder, I’m a third-year social work major, and I was told that I could write about ANYTHING for this perspectives piece. As I was thinking about this busy time of year and the amount of work we’re all swimming in, I started to wonder how much time we actually spend on ourselves.

Sure, Friday nights are really nice. But what about the rest of the week? So, the purpose of this article is to remind you to take care of yourselves, and to give you some pointers on how I personally approach self care.

For me, there’s really five key aspects of self care: diet, sleep, exercise, socializing, and hobbies. Notice that I didn’t mention schoolwork. I’m not trying to say that schoolwork isn’t important! It’s what we’re all here for.

Rather, I’m assuming that y’all are keeping up with your school work because it’s the reason that we’re all here at Goshen in the first place. Seriously, keep up with your school work. I know it feels like a lot, but you’ll be a lot less stressed if you’re keeping your classes under control.

After you have your classes under control, you’ll find that you magically have more time during the day! This is good. Since you have more time, you might start to notice that you’re tired.

[blocktext align=”right”]Commit to something and, to the best of your ability, stick to that commitment.[/blocktext]

In my experience, this problem can only be fixed with one thing: sleep. Not coffee! I’m not saying that you should never enjoy a cup of coffee if that’s what you’re into.

Rather, I believe the only way to really fix the problem of tiredness is to sleep at least 8 hours every night. I know I might be swimming against the current a little bit with this opinion, but just imagine for a second what it feels like to wake up and immediately feel great. That’s what a regular sleep schedule, not coffee, will give you.

But maybe you already are getting enough sleep, or you don’t think that a perfect sleep schedule is realistic for you. That’s understandable! Sometimes we are so swamped with commitments (like writing a perspectives piece) that we don’t always have time for 8 hours of sleep.

We can still care for ourselves in other ways, like diet and exercise. Since we’re all eating at least two times a day, we have two opportunities to sit down and consume a good, nutritious meal every day! I won’t go into what a nutritious meal looks like here, since you probably already know that.

And, exercise can be something as simple as a 15 minute run or a set of push ups every day. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

I’m running short on words, but the main point I want to leave you with is this: commit to something and, to the best of your ability, stick to that commitment. You’ll see so much benefit and you’ll feel better about your life overall. You might even start to realize you have more time to socialize or focus on your hobbies, and that your mental health is improving too. Have a good week 🙂