Caring for Yourself

You are in charge of caring for yourself and maintaining good health. Past circumstances can interfere with your health, create obstacles, and leave you stuck in challenging situations. Take control and use skills that help leave the past behind and help manage what’s ahead in a positive way so that you can look to the future with confidence.

Imagine driving a car … which would help you move forward: looking ahead or constantly looking in the rear view mirror? Everyone has a past. Sometimes there are positive outcomes, but at other times the past blocks the present.

Getting over the past can be a difficult process. Letting negativity gain control of you can result in resentment, anger, and on-going emotional pain. Understanding and changing the way you interpret a situation can help change your thoughts and self-image, and help let go of harmful emotions.

Try viewing your past through a different lens:

  • You cannot change the past, but you can learn from it and move on.
  • Acknowledge past mistakes as that, past mistakes. Dwelling on the past does not change it or make it better; it can serve to keep you stuck in regret. Instead, try to correct the mistakes.
  • Acknowledge both positive and negative aspects of your past experience, as they have shaped your current life.
  • Recognize that when you were a child most decisions were made for you, such as what food you ate, the clothes you wore, and what was done for and to you. In the present, YOU are in charge of your choices!

Everyone uses coping strategies. While some coping skills are good for you, like a relaxing bath, others may not be so positive, like getting drunk to forget.  

Coping skills at your fingertips:

  • Talk about your feelings with supportive friends or family.
  • Don’t want to talk? Then express feelings through a creative outlet, such as writing, or a physical outlet, such as a workout.
  • Read a self-help book.
  • Focus on what you have and your accomplishments. Do not focus on what you wish you had.


Taking steps to care for yourself is not easy, but it’s better to struggle with difficult decisions and actions that lead to positive life changes than to do nothing and allow for ongoing problems to keep you from improving your life.

Try different approaches to caring for yourself. If something does not work, move on to something else.

  • Be aware of your feelings and how they affect you.
  • Take care of your body and inner self in healthy and respectful ways.
  • Recognize and avoid triggers in your life that lead to negative emotions, or be ready with a plan to combat them.

If you have tried moving forward and the problem continues, maybe it’s time to get some help. Discussing problems with a neutral person sometimes helps to bring clarity, find direction, and explore alternatives.

For further information or help visit the suggested websites or visit the Student Health Center, Bldg. 67B and request personal counseling.


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