The Importance of Self Care
By: Amanda Labuza
As I laid there in bed, I just thought, 'I deserve this'. I did it to myself. The headache, the sicknesses, the exhaustion, I caused it all. I pushed myself too hard, got sick, kept pushing, and only stopped when I physically couldn’t continue.
I’m not the first one to work myself sick. I’m sure at least some of you reading this have done the same thing. I feel I can’t rest until I finish that lab work, analyze that data, finish writing that article, wash the dishes, and clean the kitchen. Everything has to get done. But the question is why? Why do we feel like we can’t take even half a day off?
The truth is we can take time to relax. This pressure is self-imposed. The truth is, the dishes could wait until tomorrow. If I didn’t finish writing that article tonight, it will still be there tomorrow. If I only get through half the paper for class, class will be difficult, but it is just one class.
It is important for us to maintain a work-life balance. For me, it is important to remember that life balance also includes rest. It is not just balancing work and time with friends. Cleaning my lab bench and cleaning my house. It is also taking time to sit and allow myself to relax. I need to take moments to rest both my mind and body.
As the semester begins, I hope this can serve as a reminder to you to take care of yourself. Pushing yourself until you are sick does no one any good. Taking an evening off can save you days of sitting in bed sick. When you rest, remember to truly relax. Watching a movie does no good if the whole time you are worried about everything you should be doing. You have the right to take care of yourself. In the pressure of grad school, remember to practice self-care.