College life is a period during which individuals are mostly exposed to stress and lack of time, which hinders the adoption of healthy practices (1). Various studies using self-report measures consistently show that American medical students often pay insufficient attention to self-care (2).
It is common for students to neglect their own health and personal care during this time with the pressures that academic and extracurricular commitments can create. Additionally, students seeking a professional degree may have additional personal factors to add to the complexities of establishing time, such as having a family, a full-time job, or financial obligations.
Self-care can be defined as simply “a behavior aimed at improving one’s health and improving oneself (3) which can be adapted 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 hygiene, toilet, bath, etc.)
- Get enough sleep
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Avoiding the use of tobacco and illegal drugs
- Reflection on the overuse of digital devices
- Other healthy habits that reduce the risk of illness (washing your hands, getting a flu shot, etc.)
Sajwani RA, Shoukat S, Raza R, Shiekh MM, Rashid Q, Siddique MS, et al. Knowledge and practice of healthy lifestyle and eating habits among medical and non-medical students in Karachi, Pakistan. J Pak Med Assoc. 2009; 59: 650-5. [PubMed: 19750870]
Ayala et al. Self-Care American Medical Students Report Less Stress, 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.
Evaluate your personal care –
Complete the survey for a chance to win a MUSC promotional prize
Share with us your story about what you are already doing that contributes to your nutritional well-being and why it is benefiting you. At the end of each month, we will draw lots from among the submissions and award several MUSC promotional prizes (eg bottle of water, beach towel, yoga mat)!
MUSC Work Out Lunch and Wellness Learning Session
With MUSC being an ACSM exercise on the medical campus, the MUSC Wellness Center and the Student Wellness Advisory Group are sponsoring a series of lunch and learns where experts from the campus and the community are invited for a discussion on wellness topics. chosen by the students. Previous lunches and learning topics included:
- Optimal nutrition
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Promote physical activity
- Integrate into personal care
- Sleep hygiene Appropriate form for bodybuilding
Are you an online or distance student? All sessions will be hosted by Microsoft Teams and will also be recorded so you can participate too! More information will be updated here to access future sessions.
Check your blood pressure and
Learn how to lower your blood pressure
High blood pressure often has no symptoms. Over time, if left untreated, it can lead to health problems, such as heart disease and strokes.
The MUSC wellness center has just installed a new blood pressure meter called Healthbot which is located 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 use as a guest” option if you choose not to create an account.
Learn what your blood pressure readings mean and the implications of these readings.
Start making choices that positively contribute to your blood pressure readings, including:
- Eat a balanced diet low in salt
- Limit alcohol
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Take all medicines correctly
Additional self-care resources:
Make personal care part of your schedule
Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to take time. To learn more about personal care, consider viewing selections from this TED playlist on the subject.
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Understanding Alcohol Consumption – Rethinking Alcohol Consumption Calculators
Have you ever wondered how alcohol can affect you outside of how you feel? Click on the images below to see things like how many calories you are consuming and how much alcohol is actually costing you per week, month, or even a year!
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Drinking can be beneficial or harmful, depending on your age and health, the situation and, of course, how much you drink. It is essential to regularly assess your drinking habits and, if necessary, to make changes for better health.
Visit the NIH Redesigning the Beverage Website and find out where you stand with your consumption habits. Complete the Check your consumption pattern and See the signs of a problem sections for instant feedback.
A brochure downloadable from Rethinking alcohol consumption is also available for your reference.
For campus resources on substance abuse, please visit MUSC Student Counseling and Psychological Services Addiction Counseling page.
For more information on what’s happening on campus, visit the MUSK CDAP and consider joining the MUSC CDAP friend list to receive the latest news on alcohol research.
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