Self-care for the poor college-goer

By Areena Arora, Managing Editor

It is no surprise that stress levels globally are at an all-time high, especially in industrialized, fast-paced, developed countries like the United States. Even more so on college campuses like ours where almost all of us are involved in activities we’re passionate about and being full-time students.

And here’s a fun fact about the situation – being a poor college student doesn’t just increase stress level, but also more difficult to deal with where expense is concerned.

Every so often I find a Buzzfeed or Odyssey article circulating on social media about 13 products that promise to instantly bring my stress levels down including coffee mugs with explicit graphic content or tea leaves. Sometimes, for $49.99, I am offered a pillow that will make sleeping easier, despite my Kate Spade (because, you know, self-care) planner over owing with words and commitments for the next day.

“The Stress in America survey results show that adults continue to report high levels of stress and many report that their stress has increased over the past year,” according to the American Psychological Association.

As much as I’m tempted to try out the magic cooling pillow, my bank account advises otherwise, and legitimately so. Must good sleep be bought?

Fighting stress has been turned into an industry – obviously there is demand, but isn’t this merely a clever tactic at exploiting white-collared, desperate customers who earn enough but cannot sleep enough?

Instead, here’s something you could do – take a free walk in the park, watch the sunset while snacking on $4.99 munchies, or check out a book from the library or jam to your favorite music.

In the capitalist world we live in, it is obvious (sadly so) that everything would be turned into a money making outlet. However, balancing hippie tea leaves and a walk outside makes me conclude that free self-care indeed does exist.

It is dif cult not to get pulled into the tempting words and images that the ever-so educated, equally stressed designers put together in their advertisements.

But self-care is free, or at least, can be. As we approach nals in less than a week, remember this more so – the industry of self-care is only trying to make money off of your stress levels and not your desire to hold a white coffee mug with a semi-clever caption in black ink.

You could always, instead, take a walk in the park, appreciate the weather and talk to friends, for $0.