Self-care is a hot topic these days. Seemingly every single personal indulgence can be defended by pulling the “self-care!” card. And of course, life today is deeply stressful and anxiety provoking: In America, the constant threat of a nuclear war looms, along with grim economic prospects, an ever-increasing cost of living, and the simultaneous needs to avoid debt at all costs and to get a college degree no matter what, lest you be relegated to the human dustbin of those with only a high school education. Mix in everyday stressors like annoying roommates, family drama, bad traffic or even just an annoying hangnail, and you’ll realize that life can be incredibly draining: it can be a vampire that sucks your energy dry. Taking care of yourself is critically important, and you don’t always need to do yoga, take a bubble bath, or masturbate furiously in the dark to achieve it. Taking care of yourself is a project including prioritizing your time and tasks, choosing who to be around, and figuring out how to balance making yourself happy with the cold, hard realities of life (e.g., mortality, the fact that eating entire pizzas in one sitting is bad for you, and that you have to make a living somehow).
Sometimes, skipping class is what you need. I have fond memories of skipping a boring class for the first time all semester the day the professor covered something I already knew about, and going to get ice cream with a friend. I am a boring person. But still, I think my life was probably improved by that afternoon. It strengthened my friendship, I did not feel obligated to bullshit about a topic that bored me, and ice cream is delicious. It was nice to get off campus and be reminded that there was a world outside of the college. So, probably this was self-care.
Self-care is realizing that if the thought of a career in accounting makes your stomach hurt and you want to stay in bed all day, maybe you should change majors – regardless of what your parents think. Self-care is realizing that if you’re part of the sandwich generation, taking care of aging parents as well as children, it’s in your best interest to take an extra semester to finish your degree.
And sometimes, self-care is realizing that a paper you are clueless about, for a class you despise, and for a professor who seems openly hostile to students, is something you need help with. Sometimes, the best act of self-care is the one that frees up your time and mental energy so you can regroup, refocus, and achieve your goals. Luckily, Unemployed Professors is here for you. If you’re struggling with too many classes, fitting in counseling appointments between lectures, labs, and childcare, recovering from mono, or just generally “doing you.” Post a writing project today : Getting help on an assignment from an expert professor can be an important part of your own self-care regimen. Make sure that you have time to “do you” even with schoolwork.