I want to start my first post with an introduction. My name is Chloe, and I am a graduate student at Columbia College Chicago studying Interaction Design. My passions are working with children, health and fitness, vegan/plant-based eating and all around well-being. I have two dogs, both named after pasta, and two cats that are BFFs. I hope to use my education to provide resources to children and people with disabilities by creating an app that will help them exercise and make simple, healthy snacks and meals. I love my program so much! I did not expect to be doing my degree remotely when I initially applied to grad school, but it has been great thus far!
Now, on to self-care. 2020 has been an absolute roller coaster for all of us. The stress of COVID, the loss of our summer, changes of plans, police brutality, political unrest, the election, the second wave of COVID—it feels like this year will never end. I have tried to remember that self-care and self love are important practices right now and always. We must also have empathy for ourselves. We talk a lot about empathy in a few of my classes and I believe that empathy is a great partner to self-care. When we think of empathy we think of having empathy towards others, but we should also have empathy for ourselves. We are all human at the end of the day, and we have to get past this stigma that many of us feel in this country to go until we drop, no matter the cost. We are all feeling the stress of 2020, and as graduate students we also have the stress of school to add to this mess. A lot of us have crossed the threshold of not just being stressed, but also being depressed, feeling exhausted, hopeless, scared and confused.
So I would like to encourage you to take a minute and stop and think about what you have done for yourself today. Did you make your favorite meal? Do a face mask? Take a bubble bath? Yoga? Pet a dog or cat? As we progress with the year that feels like it will never end, I encourage us all to be kind to ourselves and do something small everyday that makes us happy. Every day I start my morning with greens and my favorite bagel. Some days I take a bubble bath or a nap or I listen to a podcast on my drive home. These little actions that are so simple are acts of kindness that we can gift to ourselves to help us with the anxiety and depression that many of us are feeling. Go out today and talk a walk, enjoy nature, go hiking, or FaceTime with one of your friends, take the time to step away from your stress and do something for you! Practice empathy for others and for yourself, today and everyday.
Drink water, eat fruits and vegetables, make time to sleep and give a dog a hug today. Find your self-care routine and love yourself!