Board with self care written on the top

Self-care in uncertain times

March 8, 2022

5 simple steps to ease stress

The planet is enduring collective trauma, from COVID-19, to climate change, to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. As a student, I’m finding it impossible to sit through a two-hour lecture and not feel uncertainty and fear coating my skin.

Navigating scary times is certainly not easy, but I find it helpful to first remind myself that my feelings are valid. Anxiety, uneasiness and lack of concentration are all part of the not-so-pretty aspects of the human experience. Especially when the world around you seems to be balancing on a tight rope.

To respond to these situations in the best way, let’s be reminded of self-care. Self-care practices have become a larger trend in the past two years. Recently, the idea of self-care has become more focused on spending money you don’t have, seeking a certain aesthetic and forgetting the purpose behind it, which is prioritizing you.

Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant; in fact, these rituals should be simple for them to be sustainable. I know time is sacred, but so is mental health. Here are five simple, yet nourishing self-care practices that will give you a sense of grounding so you can carry on and be the best human you can.

Learn to say NO.

Work hard or die trying is the mantra of my generation. Being able to say no to things is a key element of self-care. How are we supposed to absorb what’s happening globally when we don’t have a spare moment? The world is exhausted. Take a night off from the gym, rain check that date with a friend or opt out of a family dinner. If the first word that comes to mind is “no,” honour it.

Disconnect from technology.

Electronic devices control our lives. Technology, social media and mobile devices do have benefits: quick information, easy communication. But these devices are also mentally draining. Try taking an hour each day to shut everything off. Pick a time each day that is most sustainable to do so and be present with your surroundings, nature and the people you’re with.


Simple, yet probably the most challenging. Feeling overwhelmed, anxious or uncertain? Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Then carry on with your day. I promise you’ll feel a bit lighter.

Enjoy your favourite meal.

No, this does not need to be the healthiest meal. What food is comforting for your soul? It could be home cooked or from your favourite take-out spot. Sit down and savour the food by yourself or with company! Be grateful.

Do what you can.

Most importantly, do what you can. You may not be able to do the role of student at full capacity, but you can try the few self-care tips above and be better prepared to handle what is thrown at you and the world. We can’t all be superheroes, but we can stay informed, donate where we can and start prioritizing our needs to show up as the best humans possible.


Megan Zolorycki has lived on Vancouver Island for more than 10 years. She is a second-year Bachelor of Arts student at VIU, majoring in creative writing and minoring in human resource management. Her long-term goal is to enter the journalism field. 

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