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College life is a period during which individuals are for the most part exposed to stress and lack of time, posing a barrier to adoption of healthy practices (1). A variety of studies utilizing self-report measures consistently show that U.S. medical students often pay inadequate attention to self-care (2).
It is common for students to neglect their own health and self-care during this time with the pressures that academic and co-curricular commitments can create. Furthermore, professional degree seeking students can have additional personal factors to add to the complexities of establishing time such as having a family, full time job, or financial obligations.
Self-care can best be defined as simply “behavior directed toward enhancing one’s health and achieving self-improvement (3) which can be tailored to each individual.
Common self-care practices can include:
- Regular visits to Student Health Services or a health care provider
- Personal Hygiene (e.g. oral, grooming, bathing, etc.)
- Getting proper amounts of sleep
- Limiting use of alcohol
- Avoiding use of tobacco and illegal drugs
- Reflecting on overuse of digital devices
- Other healthy habits that reduce chances of illness (hand-washing, getting flu vaccine, etc.)
Sajwani RA, Shoukat S, Raza R, Shiekh MM, Rashid Q, Siddique MS, et al. Knowledge and practice of healthy lifestyle and dietary habits in medical and non-medical students of Karachi, Pakistan. J Pak Med Assoc. 2009;59:650–5. [PubMed: 19750870]
Ayala et al. U.S. medical students who engage in self care report less stress and higher 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.
Evaluate Your Self-Care –
Complete Survey for a Chance to Win a MUSC Promotional Prize
Share your story with us on what you already do that contributes to your nutritional well-being and why it is beneficial to you. At the end of each month, we will draw from the submissions and award multiple MUSC Promotional Prizes (e.g. water bottle, beach towel, yoga mat)!
MUSC Working Out Wellness Lunch and Learn Session
With MUSC being an ACSM Exercise is Medicine campus, the MUSC Wellness Center and the Student Wellness Advisory Group sponsors a series of lunch and learns where campus and community experts are invited in for a discussion on student chosen wellness topics. Previous lunch and learn topics have included:
- Optimal Nutrition
- Stress and Anxiety Reduction
- Promoting Physical Activity
- Fitting in Self Care
- Sleep HygieneProper Form for Weight Training
Are you an online or distance student? All sessions will be hosted Microsoft Teams and will also be recorded so you will have the ability to participate as well! More information will be updated here for access to upcoming sessions.
Check Your Blood Pressure &
Learn to Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure often has no symptoms. Over time, if untreated, it can cause health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke.
The MUSC Wellness Center just installed a new blood pressure reader called Healthbot that 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 choose not create an account.
Learn what your blood pressure readings mean and the implications of those readings.
Begin to make choices that contribute positively to your blood pressure readings, including:
- Eat a well-balanced, low-salt diet
- Limit alcohol
- Enjoy regular physical activity
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Take all medications properly
Additional Self-Care Resources:
Fitting Self-Care into Your Schedule
Self-care does not have to be time consuming. For more on self-care, consider watching selections from this TED playlist on the topic.
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Understanding Alcohol Consumption – Rethinking Drinking Calculators
Have you ever wondered how alcohol can affect you outside of how it makes you feel? Click on the images below to see things like how many calories you consume, and how much alcohol actually costs to you per week, month, or even a year!
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Drinking can be beneficial or harmful, depending on your age and health status, the situation, and, of course, how much you drink. It is vital to regularly assess your drinking patterns and if necessary, make changes for better health.
Visit the NIH’s Rethinking Drinking website and find out where you stand with your drinking habits. Complete the Check your drinking pattern and See signs of a problem sections to get instant feedback.
A downloadable brochure on Rethinking Drinking is also available for your reference.
For campus resources with substance abuse, please visit the MUSC Student Counseling and Psychological Services Substance Abuse Counseling page.
For more information on what’s happening on campus, visit the MUSC CDAP website and consider joining the MUSC CDAP’s Friends List to receive the latest news on alcohol research.
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