Hamel: Happy Journal #27

Opinion editor Peyton Hamel redeems self-care practices as necessary for rejuvenation and self-discovery. 

Peyton Hamel

When COVID-19 plunged our nation in turmoil back in March, I remember so many of us raving over how much time we had to commit ourselves to self-care practices. I realize I discussed self-care a little bit in Happy Journal #26, but self-care is more than about being happy — and I believe that needs more clarification. 

I didn’t truly feel like I knew what self-care was until I reflected on the last few weeks a couple days ago:

Self-care is about the process.

Self-care is about identity. 

Self-care is, ultimately, feeling like you finally belong in your own skin. 

I have never felt more “in my skin” in my entire life. I don’t know if it’s because I had the time to take care of myself a month ago or because I don’t have the time to think about anything too much now. 

Being away from school — I now realize — has been the healthiest thing to happen to me in awhile, and not because I don’t like it. I love school, I love learning, I love everything about campus. I’m a Cyclone, after all. I would argue I am IN love with school. 

However, I was too busy running around to really be introspective and realize I wasn’t participating in ideal self-care practices. I wasn’t dressing how I wanted to dress. I wasn’t sleeping when I wanted to sleep. I wasn’t eating what I wanted to eat. 

At the end of the day, self-care can be really easy. Gentlemen, you might play some video games to take the edge off. Ladies, you might find an enriching exfoliant to cleanse your body while taking your hair down at dusk. It really is the little things that manage your self-care, not those grand gestures like going on a spa-cation. Take off your makeup, take the ponytail holders off of your wrists and put some sugar-smelling lotion on. That’s some prime self-care. (I truly hope social distancing instilled some worthy self-care habits.)

While I do believe self-care is stimulated by minor details, self-care also means you need to be true to yourself and with yourself. Who are you? Who do you want to be? How are you going to get there? Am I happy with that journey? Myself?

This may shake your foundation a little, in fact, I hope it does. You might find something about yourself that makes you make a little more sense.

Do some self-care. It’s about time you believe you deserved some.