From One SA Pro to Another: Encouraging Self Care for Our Students, Ourselves

Have you ever had a student who needs to be reminded to take care of themselves from time to time?

College students likely understand they need to eat well, get enough sleep and exercise, but putting this self-care to practice is often more difficult when a paper is due, there’s a test the next day and 100 pages to read. And adult or returning students have an especially difficult time, often juggling personal, family and career obligations on top of school work.

The rigors of college can tend to make those good ideas – taking care of yourself and relieving stress from time to time – go out the window.

What students may not understand is that “self care” makes people more productive and helps relieve stress. As student support professionals, it’s important to encourage students to take that quick nap, that walk with a friend or time to chat with family. The work might get done faster and better.

Need further reading? In a New York Times article, “Relax! You’ll Be More Productive,” Tony Schwartz, Chief executive officer at The Energy Project, goes into more detail. Energy resources need to be replenished, and while it may sound counter intuitive, breaks and “me time” will improve rather than decrease productivity.

And this advice isn’t just for students! Student Support pros need to consider self-care as well. Whether it’s workouts, naps or not eating at one’s desk, more time at work can mean less productivity. So take the time to recharge and succeed to make sure you can be your “best self.”

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