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College life is a time when individuals are mostly exposed to stress and lack of time, which is an obstacle to adopting healthy practices (1). A variety of self-reporting studies consistently show that US medical students often pay insufficient attention to self-care (2).
It is common for students to neglect their own health and self-care during this time as academic and extracurricular commitments can put them under pressure. Additionally, students seeking a professional degree may have additional personal factors that add to the complexity of timing, such as: B. a family, a full-time job, or financial commitments.
Self-care can best be defined as simply “behavior aimed at improving one’s own health and achieving self-improvement (3) that can be tailored for each individual.
Common self-care practices can include:
- Regular visits to the student health service or a health care provider
- Personal hygiene (e.g. oral care, personal hygiene, bathing, etc.)
- Getting the right amount of sleep
- Restriction of alcohol consumption
- Avoiding the use of tobacco and illegal drugs
- Think about excessive use of digital devices
- Other healthy habits that reduce the risk of illness (hand washing, flu vaccination, etc.)
Sajwani RA, Shoukat S, Raza R, Shiekh MM, Rashid Q, Siddique MS, et al. Knowledge and practice of healthy living and eating habits among medical and non-medical students in Karachi, Pakistan. JPak Med Assoc. 2009; 59: 650-5. [PubMed: 19750870]
Ayala et al. Self-sufficient U.S. medical students report less stress and better quality of life BMC Medical Education (2018) 18: 189 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-018-1296-x
Pender NJ, Murdaugh C, Parsons M. Health Promotion in Nursing Practice. 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010.
Assess your self-care –
Fill out the survey to win a MUSC promotional award
Let us know your story of what you are already doing, what is contributing to your nutritional wellbeing, and why it is beneficial for you. At the end of each month we raffle several MUSC special prizes from the submissions (e.g. water bottle, beach towel, yoga mat)!
MUSC workout wellness lunch and study session
Since MUSC is a campus of ACSM Exercise Medicine, the MUSC Wellness Center and Student Wellness Advisory Group sponsor a series of lunches and learn where campus and community experts are invited to a discussion on student-selected wellness topics. Previous lunch and study topics included:
- Optimal nutrition
- Stress and anxiety reduction
- Promote physical activity
- Adaptation in self-sufficiency
- Correct form for strength training
Are you an online or distance student? All sessions are hosted and recorded by Microsoft Teams too, so you can join too! More information will be updated here to give you access to upcoming sessions.
Check your blood pressure &
Learn to lower your blood pressure
High blood pressure often has no symptoms. If left untreated, health problems such as heart disease and strokes can develop over time.
The MUSC Wellness Center has just installed a new blood pressure reader called the Healthbot, which can be found at the entrance to the Cardio Room. You can create an account and measure your blood pressure over time. There is also a one-time guest use option if you don’t create an account.
Find out what your blood pressure readings mean and the implications of these readings.
Start making decisions that will have a positive impact on your blood pressure readings, including:
- Eat a balanced, low-salt diet
- Limit alcohol
- Enjoy regular physical activity
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Take all medication correctly
Additional resources for self-help:
Fit self-care into your schedule
Self-care doesn’t have to be time consuming. If you are interested in learning more about self care, you should check out a selection of this TED playlist on the subject.
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Understanding alcohol consumption – rethinking drinking calculators
Have you ever wondered how alcohol can affect you besides your feelings? Click the images below to see how many calories you are consuming and how much alcohol is actually costing you per week, month or even year!
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Drinking can be beneficial or harmful depending on your age and health status, the situation and of course the amount you drink. It is important to regularly review your drinking habits and make changes if necessary for better health.
A downloadable brochure about Rethinking drinking is also available for your reference.
For substance abuse campus resources, please visit MUSC Student Counseling and Psychological Services Addiction Counseling Page.
You can find more information about what is happening on campus on the MUSC CDAP Website and consider joining MUSC CDAP’s friends list for the latest news on alcohol research.
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