Next Step: Self-Care

Finding energy, motivation to take your life into your own hands

Article by Clifton E. Shambry Jr., Life Design Educator for Diversity and Inclusion

Are you someone who has been contemplating life choices? Trying to make sense of things? Want to just relax and be? Struggling with what’s next? You are not alone.

In all these thoughts, it is important to know that you are not alone and that you have many resources at your fingertips either in people or online resources.

In your journey, there are many ways to accomplish solving what might be next. That could be getting more schooling done, funding opportunities, looking for a fellowship, internship, job, or even enjoying a break from it all and taking care of yourself. These are all areas of importance of which one could evaluate more deeply of which here we will address a few ways to think about taking care of self in order for you to be your best to manage other engagement opportunities.

Self-care comes in a form of many things yet the basics are really where we take time to check-in with ourselves and ensure our own happiness, however you define such.

It is easy to say self-care is important yet it is important to also show how it can be done. That being so, below are a few ways to think about acting on taking care of yourself especially when going through difficult times.


First, find ways to be curious about self-reflection or engage in activities that you can get lost in or that you love doing. This is helpful because it takes your mind off what might be taking your attention from yourself.

For some that might be playing video games, others that might be a Netflix series like Hollywood or movie like Becoming. It can even be connecting with others via social media or group chats. Whatever you do, find those ways to be to yourself/ with others while doing something you love doing. Here are a few more suggestions that can provide motivation:

  • Follow inspirational people on social media like Videos (under 2 mins) — Push Through; Be an Enhancer, like Garlic Powder; Photo — Process Emotions
  • Meditation:
    • Hopkins Calm App Premium for Free ($70 value)
    • Liberate: Mediation app for the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community
  • Encouraging texts: Just text “I want encouraging texts” to 215-366-0012. Texts are from Dr. Nicole LePera, the Holistic Psychologist.

One last activity could be finding inspirational videos online such as Podcasts like SuperSoul Conversations Masterclass with the Rock, Dwayne Johnson (iOS, Android). In this podcast, Mr. Johnson encourages folks to “Be Yourself” as well as talks about how he navigated life with family, feelings, and failure. Through Mr. Johnson’s story, Oprah encourages folks to trust your unique voice and your own perspective no matter where it takes you as the Rock has in his experiences (Adapted from Winfrey 2018).


Asking for help can be hard so it might be easier to reframe the asking to: “I am curious about [input your curiosity/question]” rather than saying, “I need help with _____.” This takes the fear of feeling needy.

Connecting with others about your curiosities and questions helps others to learn about your interests in order to move the conversation forward. It is harder to perform or do things for yourself or for others if you are not in your best form. So taking care of yourself is important which may require a little bit of trying stuff out and seeing how they work with people you trust first if it is hard for you to do with a new person.

Test it out during office hours with your Life Design Educator (LDE). Your LDEs will not think any of your questions are a dumb question. If you want a person…connect with Clifton Shambry and try it out!


A recent tweet shows Michelle Obama in the documentary “Becoming” saying: “We can’t afford to wait for the world to be equal to start feeling seen…find the tools within yourself to be visible, & to be heard and to use your voice.” (Obama, 2020).

So with this, feel free to take your voice and life into your own hands. Be curious, talk with people, and try some of it out to see what works for you and become the best version of yourself.


Obama, M. (2018). Becoming. Netflix. Retrieved from

Winfrey, O., & Johnson, D. (July 17, 2018). SuperSoul Conversations: Dwayne Johnson. Retrieved from iOS —

Android —


Clifton E. Shambry Jr is a Life Design Educator in the Life Design Lab at Homewood and is not a licensed mental health professional and provided these guidance points to resources, tips, and tricks to take care of oneself.


Clifton E. Shambry Jr: FLI college graduate, proud east coaster, lover are spades card and board games (especially spades), singing at church and finding spots in Baltimore to sit and relax. 6+ years of advocating for affinity space, mentoring, and equitable experiences for all and helping student organization leaders lead from their why. Enjoys discussing how identities have an impact on one’s experience.

By Clifton E. Shambry Jr.
Clifton E. Shambry Jr. Associate Director of Life Design: Diversity & Inclusion