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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Building healthy routines through art, exercise

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake
Self-care can range from eating a healthy meal to engaging in a relaxing hobby, such as painting.

As a college student, self-love and self-care can be hard for some to integrate into their lives.  

Associate director of the Marquette University Counseling Center, Dr. Jodi Blahnik, has experience speaking about the importance of self-care. In addition to talking about it with students, she also lectures on the topic in the graduate course she teaches. 

“Self-care is a routine that you develop,” Blahnik said. “It’s something at the foundation, where if we aren’t taking care of ourselves or working on building a good routine to take care of ourselves, it’s really hard to manage things, like stress.” 

Around 48% of college students have reported feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Self-care is widely suggested as a way to eliminate stress, but it can be hard for some to engage in the practice.

“Other than working out, I don’t do any self-care because I don’t have enough time or energy for it,” Ellie O’Rourke, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said.

O’Rourke isn’t alone in this sentiment. Students can be burdened with schoolwork, jobs, extracurriculars, internships and more. Blahnik said that the separation of academics and personal life is important. 

“You have to find what works for you, but it’s something that’s not studying, going to class, or doing homework,” Blahnik said. “Having that disconnect, having that balance and those boundaries is really essential.” 

O’Rourke also said that a clear division between her education and relaxation was something she tried to have. 

“I recommend having a hobby or something you do that helps you relax or at least doesn’t have much responsibility or work involved,” O’Rourke said. 

In addition to lack of time, students might also feel pressured by the over-the-top and elaborate “self-care” they see on social media. 

“You have to think about that extravagant self-care, is that really for them or is that adding to the machine of pressure to have to show people what we’re doing?” Blahnik said.  

She also said that you should try to recognize the small acts of self-love you do throughout the day, and by working in small steps to include more self-care.  

Blahnik said that self-love starts in the small things like skincare and food habits, small steps you take to show your body some love a little bit every day. 

“When I think about self-care, I think about basics, making sure I’m getting good sleep and trying to have routine in sleep, proper nutrition, working out when I can and having good work-life balance,” Blahnik said. 

While the basics are needed, there are other hobbies and activities that can also act as self-care, but the same thing doesn’t work for everyone. 

“Self-care looks different for everyone. For me, it’s working out and hanging out with friends, for others it may be art of face masks or calling family,” O’Rourke said. “But everyone has to have something.” 

Building up a system of self-care is important when it comes to facing an overwhelming amount of stress. 

“Self-care and self-love are things that can happen in small doses. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, but it’s something we need to work on every single day as a foundation to being well,” Blahnik said. “If we can build that solid foundation and we are hit with stress or hit with adversity, we are going to be far more equipped to manage it. I think of it as a tremendous amount of prevention.” 

Despite the obstacles life can throw in the way, self-love is important, and college is a time to build up a system of self-care.

This story was written by Izzy Fonfara Drewel. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Izzy Fonfara Drewel
Izzy Fonfara Drewel, Production Director
Izzy Fonfara Drewel is a senior from Papillion, Nebraska majoring in journalism with a double minor in music and Spanish. This school year she will be serving as the Production Director. In previous years, she made her home on the Arts & Entertainment desk as the Executive Arts & Entertainment Editor, and she was the Executive Opinions Editor last year. Outside of the Wire, Izzy plays the trumpet in the Marquette University Bands and spends her free time trying new restaurants and playing card games with her friends. She is excited to pilot this position this year and build a strong staff that is confident in their abilities.

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