The term “self-care” goes hand in hand with a face mask and a bubble bath. Self-care is important because mental health is tricky and everyone reacts to different triggers and inhibitors. Unfortunately, not everyone can calm down with a DIY spa session. If you are struggling with stress, depression, or anxiety, here are some alternative ways to take care of yourself.
- A Gym Session
Many people look to the gym and physical activity to clear their heads. Some people can calm down by knocking out a good lifting session or a couple of miles on the treadmill. Other people like to turn to less intense activities like yoga or swimming. Either way, physical activity is linked to both short term and long term benefits for mental health.
- A Walk
If you aren’t huge on working out, or maybe gym anxiety has the best of you, taking a walk is an alternative activity with the same benefits to one's mental health. The important part about exercising as a stress reliever is to do something you enjoy and don’t view as homework or a chore.
College and sleep don’t really go hand in hand. However, sleep is a natural way to destress and improve one's mood. It seems too simple to be considered “self-care,” but physiologically, sleep is a simple way to relax and refresh oneself.
Many people turn to creative outlets to destress, and, for those who tend to overthink projects or who aren’t artistically inclined, coloring is a perfect middleground. Adult coloring has become very popular for reducing stress and anxiety. (Here is a Clemson one to get you started!)
- Playing with a Pet
According to the CDC, having a pet has many health benefits such as a decrease in the feeling of loneliness and increased opportunities to exercise and socialize. All of this can be great for someone struggling with depression or stress. If you have the money, getting a pet can be really beneficial for you and the animal you rescued.
- A Technology Cleanse
The Internet and social media are linked to increased mental health issues and sleep interferences. While modern tech is unavoidable and great to have, it may be a good idea to put down the phone for a day to decompress from everything that lives behind the screen. If work or school prevents this, try an hour “cleanse” before bed.
Cleaning can be a great decompressor because it gives you a chance to control a situation and it can lead to a satisfying result. Also, recent studies have found that people living in cleaner environments were healthier both physically and mentally than those who lived in cluttered homes. (You can read about them here)
Writing is another tactic that can benefit one’s mental health. You can write about how you feel or write a creative piece to take your mind off of what’s bothering you. It also doesn’t have to be public- you can keep a journal with you and take it out whenever you need to calm down.
“Self-care” is all about taking care of your physical and mental health. If these eight tricks or a DIY spa session isn’t helping your situation, be sure to seek professional help. Mental health can be hard to handle on your own, so never be afraid to ask for help.