A Reminder: Focus on Mind, Body, and Beauty of the Soul


Ashley Landis

Photograph taken of Lindsey Campagna by Ashley Landis on Tuesday, April 12. Lindsey in the sun.

With school winding down, the weather changing, and imminent decisions on the horizon, it’s no wonder students are full of stress and tension. Your body, mind, and soul need to be taken care of. When ignored, chronic stress can affect your emotional and mental well-being as well as physical health, such as burnout, illness, and chronic fatigue. If you experience exhaustion, keep in mind that it is a sure symptom of burnout; which is fatigue that can happen from chronic stress that has not been managed successfully. When living in constant stress, illnesses happen more frequently because stress attacks your immune system, according to Ascend Healthcare. Mental Health America suggests that surrounding yourself with people who make you comfortable, meditating, reading, dancing, painting, and connecting with your family are all great ways to calm your mind and aid stress.

Self-Care Self Assessment
If you want to work towards healing yourself, it is suggested to do some reflecting, and ask yourself questions similar to these:

  1. When assessing physical self-care, “Are you getting enough sleep, eating well, and getting an adequate amount of exercise?”
  2. For social self-care, “Are you spending enough time with friends and family, and nurturing those relationships?”
  3. When focusing on mental self-care, “Are you spending enough time on activities that you enjoy, and pushing yourself to do small, proactive activities?”
  4. Lastly, for emotional health, ask yourself, “Do you have healthy ways to process your emotions, are you doing activities to help you recharge?”

According to Verywell Mind, these are recommended as the five areas to focus on when achieving successful self-care.

Curious as to what Pennridge High School counselor Ashley Plawa defines as self-care, she answers, “Self-care can look different for each person. When I think of self-care, I believe it is something we do as individuals to help us better manage our everyday lives. Self-care helps with overall happiness and well-being”. To summarize, self-care does not have to look a certain way, it looks different for every individual. Guidance counselor, Jennifer Pennebacker, adds to the definition of self-care, “sounds easy, but it’s hard”. Plawa adds, “ Life is super busy and I don’t think that gets any better as you get older! Make self-care a priority. Write it down in your calendar, planner, or phone and schedule the time for yourself just as you would a doctor’s appointment, practice for a sport, or a club meeting. Make it part of your daily routine.”. Plawa explains that self-care won’t get easier as time goes on, but it must be made a priority and part of your daily routine.

Life is busy and only gets busier with time, as stated by Plawa. The stressors of life never stop and one of the most healing and proactive ways to process stress is to determine and focus on what you need. Everyone’s needs are different, so self-care is unique for each individual. Fresh air, physical activity, intentional breathing, and simply relaxing your shoulders take care of your well-being. It is important to realize that self-care does not have to look pretty for you or the perspective of others.