By: Dionne Smith, Editor-in-Chief
“Neurons that fire together, wire together,” is what professor Rikki Miller has been telling me since I had her in PSY 101 three years ago. The human brain has billions of neurons, and these neurons help send messages to different parts of our brain to tell it what it should do, to help activate something, and a plethora of other things. One of the things neurons do is aid in learning.
Learning something means that neurons are coming together to make new connections so when you revisit it, you remember what you learned faster and you can expand your learning. Think of neurons like the international highway. Before the highways were built, it used to take weeks to get from coast to coast. Now, depending on how many hours you drive, which way you take, and traffic, it can take about four to six days. When the highway is used constantly and stays in good condition, it can be used to the greatest of its ability for speedy travel. Your neurons are similar, except they send signals in milliseconds instead of days.
As students, we try to strive for building strong neuronal connections to help us with our classes and become more knowledgeable in our field. But, personally, I forget to learn better habits for myself all the time.
Just like practicing a skill like art, practicing self-care routines takes time, practice, and a lot of repetition. Being a busy college student in the middle of the semester doesn’t help. For example, a common thing I tell myself is how I am going to get back to working out each week, but I always put it off until the next semester. This has been happening for a while now.
It is extremely important for everyone to have some form of a self-care routine, especially during times when stress is high. Something as simple as meditating for a few minutes before bed or after you wake up if you’re really crunched for time on a daily basis, which is a lot of us. What you do should be something that you enjoy doing, helps you relax and takes some of the stress from the day off.
Self-care also includes daily things that you should be doing for your health. Sometimes, doing the most simple task can take a lot of motivation, or you just skip it. Personally, I forget to eat breakfast a lot, though I’ve gotten much better about it recently.
When you learn how to care for yourself and make it a good habit, that will stay with you forever. After college, when I have to go to get a job, buy a car, and other things that come with adulthood, ideally, I will know my limits and I can help avoid burning myself out from daily stressed piling on by using the self-care techniques I practiced so much on. This is probably why I play video games so much.