What is Self-Care?

Self-care is self-defined. It’s about listening to your body, identifying your needs and taking steps to reach them every day. Self-care isn’t selfish and, its a vital and integral part of maintaining optimal health and well-being. 

How Can I Practice Self-Care?

As a college student, sometimes self-care can be hard to practice when you’re balancing academics, work, extracurricular activities, family and a social life. What most of us don’t realize is that self-care can be simple tasks that take only a few minutes. The best part about self-care is that it doesn’t cost us anything, it can be a simple few minutes sitting in silence or a few deep breaths. If self-care is a new concept to you, try incorporating some of the tips below written by Aggies for Aggies. 

  1. Appreciate yourself. You are here today and have accomplished so much. Be proud of who you are and take pride in how far you've come.
  2. Take a deep breath. Sit down and take a slow, deep breath. Allow the air to come through your nose and move downwards towards your stomach. Let your abdomen expand fully and then breathe out through your mouth. Try this a few times and notice how you feel. 
  3. Move your body. Move for at least 30 minutes a day to fuel your mind and boost your mood! 
  4. Practice gratitude. A simple way to practice gratitude is to name three things that you're grateful for every day.
  5. Make time for fun. If you didn't have classes right now, how would you spend your time? Find some time in your daily schedule for fun because you deserve it and it's a great way to practice self-care.

Domains of Self-Care

The six domains of self-care include: cognitive, emotional, interpersonal, physical, practical and spiritual self-care. We defined these self-care terms with using research and student focus groups. By broadening our understanding through the domains of self-care, we can identify self-care practices that fall into each of these six categories. Take a closer look at each category on the right, and think about what you are currently doing and/or what activities you want to start doing for your self-care routine. It’s important to note that some of these self-care domains may overlap and that’s okay.

Cognitive Self-care includes Activities that stimulate your mind, memory and intellect.  Examples include listening to a podcast, reading a book, obtaining a certification or developing a career-related skill.Emotional self-care includes activities that enable you to actively examine, process, cope and reflect on your emotions. Examples include individual or group therapy, writing in a journal or creating art.Interpersonal self-care includes Activities that allow you to connect and foster personal and professional relationships. Examples include watching Netflix with friends, meeting a professor for coffee, or playing board games with loved ones

Physical self-care includes Activities you do to take care of your body, maintain your health and/or enhance your well-being. Examples include taking your medication as prescribed, eating foods that nourish you, getting adequate sleep or getting yourself tested for STIs / HIV if you’re sexually active.Practical self-care includes Activities that are routine tasks which can help us achieve balance and prevent future stress. Examples include folding laundry, washing the dishes or creating a budget.Spiritual self-care includes Activities that deepen your ability to integrate meaning and purpose in life. Examples include being in nature, daily meditation or going to church.

Self-Care Resources