Putting the “care” in self-care

Published 4 years ago -

Have you ever had a moment of pure serenity? One where you felt like the world was finally moving slowly, even though it truly wasn’t? One where your body almost felt as if it was floating?
I hadn’t found this moment much this semester. I haven’t even found time to breathe. Before fall break, though, I strolled down to the chapel with my friend for Candlelight prayer. She needed to arrive early to prepare her talk, and I was with her for the ride. So, while waiting for the prayer to begin, I finally took a few moments and sat waiting in the dark chapel.
The chapel was quiet, dead quiet. You aren’t always blessed with this setting in a public place. In fact, it was quiet enough for me to hear the tiny patters from every rain drop hitting the roof. All was mellow for once, with not a word echoing from my mouth nor even my brain.
And then I thought about how I’ll only be in this chapel for so few moments more. That I only have a limited amount of candlelight prayers, adorations and Assumption College masses left to appreciate. Only few sunny days where I can appreciate how the light reflects the vibrant colors of the stained glass along the walls and across the floors. So little time left in one of the most beautiful spots on campus.
And I wonder if I’ll ever find time for God in the real world. I mean, I’m only a senior in college and I’m already struggling to juggle mass in with everything else on my plate. I’m afraid that I’ll float back into the once-a-yearer fad once I enter the real world, making my occasional appearance on Christmas Eve. I wonder how anyone finds time for God in the chaos of reality.
In fact, I wonder how anyone finds time for themselves. I’m a city girl and all I watch every single day is people moving. They go from one location to the next, no thought involved. No attention to themselves. When did we become so habitual?
Self-care is something that has been brought up more so recently, but it hasn’t been implemented the same amount. We simply tend to put other priorities before our own. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being motivated to excel and aid others is important, but it is also essential for us to take some time for ourselves.
I spent this past fall break sick in my room and, to be quite frank, it wasn’t a bad thing for me. If I hadn’t gotten sick, I probably would have still been constantly going and doing who knows what. Being sick was a blessing, because it gave me the time to recuperate myself. It opened time for selfcare.
And I shouldn’t have been happy to be sick. I realize that it wasn’t good to let my body’s slight decline finally force me to rest. I should’ve been more attentive towards myself in the first place, and I apologize to my body for this.
Not only does this apply health-wise, but also mental health-wise. We can’t succumb to a cycle of putting work in front of our wellbeing. Even if it seems like a good idea, it’s not in the long run. We must leave room for ourselves.
Yes, success is something you work for and all that jazz, but you can’t work without a body and a mind. Let’s not forget that. So, take that much needed hour-long study break, go out for ice cream with your friends, take walks and enjoy the fall weather and appreciate the moments you have while they’re still here. You’ll never know how much you needed them until they’re gone.

Lauren Fitzgerald, a senior, studies English. She is the Arts and Entertainment editor of Le Provocateur.

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