What Is Self-Care?
Self-Care is a vital spiritual practice. Cultivating time and space to care for ourselves is necessary for our personal well-being and for our collective being in the world. If our own cup of inner resources is empty, we have nothing to share with others.
Collective Practice is the recognition that I am connected to countless beings and an awareness of how I impact these beings. I am interested in receiving care and sharing care…. The care I offer myself is the same care that I can offer to my community.
— Lama Rod Owens, from Love and Rage
There is no one right way to care for yourself. Find a practice, activity, or community that helps you connect with what is most important to you and that grounds you in times of crisis or stress.
Self-Care can be religious or not religious. It can feel spiritual or sacred to you, whether it is religious or not. Meaningful self-care is more than just watching Netflix or playing video games. Some of that can be a good break, but we also need intentional practices that go deeper, that help us make meaning of our experience, that connect us to others, to nature, or to the divine.
Caring for Yourself in a Pandemic
It is okay to not be okay right now. This is an especially anxious moment. Some of us have lost loved ones. Many have lost internships and study abroad opportunities. Many of our friends and families have been impacted by job losses, virtual schooling, or illness. Many are anxious about the election and increasing division in our nation. Many are angry at persistent racism and injustice.
Be kind and patient with yourself. Everything feels different and more emotionally exhausting. None of us is living our college dream. It is okay to acknowledge your losses, fears, disappointments, even anger.
- If you are in crisis, please reach out to Counseling Services. Call 911 if it is an emergency.
- The chaplains and professional staff at the Truitt Center are also available to meet with you, regardless of your religious or nonreligious identity.
- The CREDE, El Centro, and Gender and LGBTQIA Center are also great resources for connection and support.
- Check out our resources below and find the practice that helps you recharge, refresh, and renew.
Ideas for Self-Care
- Practice gratitude: Take a moment to notice three things you appreciate each day. This is a good practice to begin or end your day and to record in a gratitude journal.
- Meditate: Iron Tree Blooming meditates every Thursday. Insight Timer and Headspace are two apps for meditation and mindfulness.
- Pray: Schedule time for prayer and daily devotion. Be creative with form and location. Try praying in nature or while walking. Try reading a passage from a sacred text or meaningful book or poem to guide your prayer.
- Practice Yoga: Elon Yoga Club and Campus Recreation and Wellness offer virtual and outdoor classes. Yoga with Adriene is a great resource on YouTube.
- Get out in nature: Take a walk in the woods. Elon Outdoors offers trips throughout the year and this list of great local hikes.
- Journal: Here’s a great list of daily prompts for journaling and self-reflection.
- Connect: Have dinner or coffee with a friend without your cell phones or do something silly together like jump in a pile of leaves. Try a new group or activity on PhoenixConnect or connect with one of our spiritual communities.
- Create: Do something crafty or spend time drawing, coloring (online coloring pages), or painting – just for fun. Have a five minute dance party.
- Feel: Allow yourself space to feel emotion in your body, to acknowledge the losses and the moments of joy. Contemplate these poems for difficult times.
- Rhadical Dharma is a Buddhist practice rooted in Black experience that integrates individual and collective liberation in the struggle for social justice.
- The Henri Nouwen Society provides daily meditations for Christian prayer and daily devotion.
- Rays of Light: Islamic Meditation
- For the Lonely Ones helps students explore loneliness and belonging while flourishing in college and beyond.
- Counseling Services offers the mental wellness app WellTrack and maintains a list of helpful links and apps for mental health, mindfulness, and stress management.
- Campus Recreation and Wellness offers group exercise classes, mind-body connection space, Elon Outdoors, and more.