Self Care

 

What is “self-care” and why does it matter so much? Obviously, the term “self-care” means to literally take care of yourself, but the idea is also so much more. Self-care can sound like a cliché, trendy, blogger term but in reality, choosing to allow self-care to be relevant in my life changed everything. Self-care is not really something you can just wake up and decide to do and let it follow you around effortlessly, instead, it’s something worth working on.

Learning to practice self-care and understand what this meant to me as a person is the one thing that has made my college experience as great as it’s been. It doesn’t have to necessarily be college, but any new wave of life, anything that takes adjusting to. When I began college a year ago, I was feeling so much pressure, confusion, and even dislike. Past high school or living with your parents, you quickly learn that most everything in life is a situation of “what you get out is what you put in.” Whether it be my job, my friendships, relationship, schoolwork, or even day-to-day happiness, self-care is a mindset that makes all of these areas have confidence and love wrapped throughout. This mindset is simply one that puts feelings over duties, and allows you to do more of what you love and less of routine false expectations. Self-care is celebrating the small things and not letting yourself get down over even the big things. Though routines can be healthy and productive, if you’re like me, they can be dreadful and tiring. Self-care is the idea of putting small inserts into your routine that make it not only more enjoyable, but make you care more about the things you’re doing. For example, though a school day can be long, hot, and exhausting, coming home to a hot shower, freshly washed sheets and “unplugging” for an afternoon nap before dinner with a few friends is more refreshing than coming home and binge eating pizza rolls and going to bed sweaty at 5 p.m.

To sum up the idea, I like the quote: “self-care isn’t always Lush bath bombs and $20 face masks, it’s going to bed at 8 p.m., or letting go of a bad friend. It’s forgiving yourself for not meeting your impossible standards and understanding you are worth it, nonetheless. Self-care isn’t always luxury, but a mean for survival.

It’s always important to take care of yourself first. Many times, I have found myself in phases or weeks where I wake up feeling bad too often, have break-outs that won’t go away, or feel like I repeat the same old thing every day (class, meals, exhaustion, bed.) The idea of self-care is what changed these negative feelings and has kept them away since. Also, self-care can deal with lots of personal guilt, and focusing more on what you actually want to do and what’s best for you, versus what you feel pressured or feel like you “should” do. For instance, if I know I’m dreading my 7 a.m. alarm anyway, why not make it 6:30 and grab some Chic-Fil-A chicken minis on my way? Or if I know I’ve got a busy week ahead, meal plan for each day or write a few encouraging Bible verses in my planner to stumble upon. Small ideas like these are what truly can change dreadful days to joyful days, and create a lifestyle habit that you’re so thankful for.

 

Here’s just a few of my favorite self-care things to do:

-      Make exciting plans 

-      Write in my favorite colorful pens 

-      Keep a prayer journal

-      Make someone's day for no reason

-      Picking out a new nail color

-      Doodling 

-      Rearranging 

-      Trying new skin care/hair care products

-      Take a late-night bath before bed

-      Set an alarm 20-30 minutes too early so that I can sleep in

-      Distance myself from social media/texts for a period of each day

-      Talk on the phone for hours to a best friend

-      Eat the snack/cake/candy and not worry about the calories

-      Buy the shoes/skirt/outfit instead of spending the $ on food

-      Take afternoon naps

-      Explore new music/playlists

-      Have an hour each morning to myself/silent

-      Go the extra mile for a friend/project/gift

-      Write a friend a letter/encouraging note

-      Look through new/old pictures

-      Open the blinds

-      Make to-do lists everyday of everything to be done

-      Plan/work ahead

-      Use my planner religiously

-      Make my bed daily

-      Sleep stress away

-      Get a fresh hair cut

-      Do things now I’ll thank myself for later

-      Distance from stressful people/situations

-      Always have something to look forward to

-      Keep a dry-erase running calendar to mark off each day

-      Get dressed to worship music

-      Buy the small happy things

-      Pinterest

-      Make a monthly bucket list

-      Watch my favorite movies

-      Read Bible verses for every situation

-      Not sweating the small things

-      Coloring books

-      Wake up early for an energetic breakfast

-      Declutter

-      Clean out my car

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