One day when I went to visit my Career Success Advisor, she asked me what my priorities were, so I told her. They were as follows:

  1. School
  2. Bills
  3. Job
  4. My artistic development/getting published
  5. Family
  6. Social life/friends

She wrote them down and we looked at it together. I decided to add self-care. After a few days, I put it at the top of the list.

Maintaining a high grade point average and getting work in your field, while being an adult and trying to make ends meet can make you feel like Arthur’s clenched fist. So, it’s important you take some time out to focus on yourself.

For a long time I was unaware of how vital self-care was to mental and physical health. I wouldn’t take breaks from my art because I thought that it was only a waste of time. Ultimately, overworking myself led to days I just wasn’t productive at all because I felt too exhausted to do anything.

Since I have started practicing self-care my mind is less easily distracted. I find that when I begin struggling with work and I leave it to relax, even a short period of time, I come back with a different energy and approach.

Self-care routines will be different for everyone, so it is essential to find your own release. Whether it is going outside, playing a video game, journaling or fire-breathing. The best part about self-care is that it is all about your wants and needs.

At the end of my first quarter I wanted two things: leave and take a break from everything. I was literally on the first train home. I got to spend some much-needed time with my friends and family. I chilled out without the pressures of being an full-time student who holds a job and pumps out articles. When my mom’s house isn’t an option I like to research recipes, listen to audio books, write short stories (for me, not for class) or sleep.

One thing I also used was SCAD counselor services, even if is just the occasional check-in, even if things are going perfectly fine. I highly recommend them. They are located in Bradley Hall, and the counselors are just as chill as their waiting room music. Counselors can also direct you to local experts for more specialized therapy when needed.

Thank you for reading, a bubble bath calls my name…

By Stephanie Avery