“Self-Care” Trend in College Students

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BY ASHLEY REZACHEK, rezachekas@mnstate.edu

As the stress from work, school and life in general adds up, many young adults are prioritizing self-care.
Social media has made it easier than ever for people to share their self-care journey. A simple scroll on Instagram reveals a multitude of self-care activity ideas. Self-care can come in many different forms, from spending a day at the spa to visiting an art museum. The practice has grown in popularity among many millennials and can lead to a better understanding of one’s emotional and physical needs.
Chaney Jambor is a 21-year-old senior at MSUM studying biochemistry and biotechnology. He practices self-care and believes that being self-aware is a big part of self-care.
“For me, self-care is just being aware of how I am feeling in any situation of my life, and kind of questioning, is that how I want to be feeling,” Jambor said. “If it is not how I want to be feeling, I ask how can I change so I can feel good.”
The practice itself may not be new, but the term has become more mainstream. In fact, according to Google Trends the search term “self-care” was at an all-time high in September 2018 in the U.S. Millennials in particular have been participating in the movement. Millennials, or people born in the early ‘80s to mid-‘90s, tend to value experiences that will improve their overall well-being over material possessions.
Self-care has always been around but it has recently become trending. (Photo: Google Trends)

 

“I would define self-care as setting time aside for yourself and doing something that is solely to benefit your personal well-being,” Carly DeSanto said.

DeSanto is a 20-year-old senior at MSUM studying Anthropology. She admits to not practicing self-care as much as she would like to.
There are currently over 14 million posts on Instagram tagged with #selfcare. The content of these posts varies from inspirational quotes to pictures of people exercising and pampering themselves. Self-care can even be doing simple things, like making sure you get enough sleep, staying hydrated and eating breakfast.
“I started doing a lot of journaling, and for me that was a way of gutting everything in my life and getting it out into the world and on paper,” Jambor said.
Journaling helps Jambor process what he is feeling. He also considers being mindful of what he eats, doing yoga and creating art among his self-care routines. His self-care journey began during his freshman year of college when he became aware of the need because he was struggling with depression and anxiety. Becoming aware of his self-care needs improved Jambor’s well-being and mental health.

 

“It has a huge impact on my life,” Jambor said. “I feel a lot better about myself as a person, in my everyday life, in my academic life and every part of life.”

Jambor’s self-care practice includes painting. (Photo: Chaney Jambor’s Instagram)

 

For DeSanto, cooking is her means of self-care. She says she goes beyond what is necessary for a meal and takes the time to complete a full meal. Cooking is her stress reliever. DeSanto also mentions that simple activities, such as sitting down to enjoy some coffee or tea is another way she practices self-care.

DeSanto finds going above and beyond in her food preparations enjoyable and relaxing. (Photo: Carly DeSanto’s Instagram)

 

Self-care has become more mainstream with the help of social media. Social media has created a space for dialogue on self-care, self-love and mental health.   “I think self-care has always been a thing, but with social media like Instagram and Twitter, people are being more open and engaging in conversations,” Jambor said. Awareness of self-care will continue to grow as more people acknowledge mental health, which self-care is a large component of.

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