Taking care of our whole selves
As a student, it is often difficult to take care of ourselves, especially with the pressures of writing papers and exams. That’s why it is so important for us to remember that our bodies need to be taken care of as well as our minds and emotions. We are reminded to look after our grades, but how often do we think about our physical wellness? Our brains are physical as well as mental, and as human beings we need to take care of ourselves in all the ways our full selves require.
It is easy, especially in a school setting, to divide ourselves into different parts of ourselves. We have our school selves, the self we are when we’re hanging out with friends, and so on. This divide also happens internally, too. Generally, people like to think of themselves as having their mind, body, soul, and every other part of themselves separately and to divide wellness along those lines. There is mental wellness, physical wellness, emotional wellness, and spiritual wellness. But all of these different parts are still one, and so is our wellness.
Taking care of ourselves physically can lead directly to our whole selves being healthier and happier. For example, drinking water not only benefits our physical body, it helps us to think better too. After all, our brain is a physical organ. Eating well and getting enough sleep can also lead to overall healthiness in all aspects of life. It’s a common experience to be feeling upset or “off” in some way, only for sleep or a meal to help us feel better. Physical wellness is connected to all wellness. Another example would be food. By eating foods that lower stress and can help us feel less anxious, like pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, and chamomile, we can take care of our emotions.
While it can feel simpler and easier to let our bodies “take care of themselves” so to speak, while we look after the so-called “more important” parts of our wellbeing, it’s not helpful to think that way. Our bodies are us, just as much as our thoughts and emotions. In order to take care of who we are as people, we need to take care of every part of ourselves. There are many ways to do this at Ambrose; we have many wellness resources in the Student Life office, and campus recreation has a lot of activities to get involved in.