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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

My mom started getting super into self-care about four years ago. She was researching Korean skincare routines, Gua Sha, hair treatments, and she got really involved in barre classes. I took self-care kind of seriously around that time. I had a decent skincare routine and I went to gym classes with my dad a couple of times a week. But, I had yet to truly define self-care; I knew what it meant to my mom, but what about me? About a month ago, I purchased the Be Fit pass from the CU Rec Center. I’ve tried spin classes, yoga classes, F45 classes, and just used the machines readily available to me. I’m constantly told that exercising and eating what you want and need is beneficial to your mental health, and I really used to not believe it. Now, I’m eating my words.  

Since starting my freshman year, I’ve discovered my definition of self-care. It’s the perfect combination of a positive mental attitude towards my physical appearance, moving my body in ways that feel good, enjoying all the foods I want and working to remind myself that I can only control my own thoughts and actions. So far, my newfound mindset has really worked wonders for me.

Do you remember the “hot girl walk” era during the depth of quarantine? Personally, I don’t believe that the era has ended. In fact, I myself have become an especially strong supporter and lover of the simple concept of putting on your headphones, playing your favorite songs or a good podcast, changing into comfortable walking shoes and a cute outfit, and just walking. You have the freedom to walk as much or as little as you want, you can listen to whatever, and you can walk wherever you please. I had never once thought fun and leisurely walks were overrated. Neither had my dad. If hot girl walks are not a trend or a popular thing that anyone is doing anymore, then there is something seriously wrong. My personal favorite combination entails podcasts “On My Mind by Ava Jules or “Anything Goes by Emma Chamberlain, my white On Cloud running shoes, Airpods, and Boulder Creek’s incredible scenery. It’s such a simple pleasure that you can indulge anywhere and at any time you would like. Anyone and everyone needs to hop on the “hot girl walk” train.

Another form of self-care that I have recently begun implementing into my daily routine is the art of intuitive eating. Intuitive Eating is “an approach to eating that focuses on the body’s response to cues of hunger and satisfaction.” It aims to “foster a positive relationship with food as opposed to pursuing ‘weight control.’” A couple of months ago, this concept was foreign to me. How could something that used to be so natural become abnormal? Recently, I have completely flipped my mindset around my eating habits and food. A couple of nights ago, I decided to go get frozen yogurt in a spur of the moment simply because I wanted it. No other reason or restrictions even crossed my mind, which for me is a minor miracle. If I’d been invited a couple of months ago, I would’ve either declined the offer or I would’ve been sent into a dark spiral of negative connotations I had previously attached to the dessert. But one thing about me is that I ADORE frozen yogurt. I love absolutely everything about it. Working to rewire my brain’s way of thinking when it comes to food and my eating habits is not a linear process and some days are better than others. I think that the shift in my mindset places more value on my attitude toward my physical well being. It has helped define my thoughts on self-care.

A life lesson that I have been attempting to learn is that you can’t control what people think of you. Everyone is going to have an opinion of you and that is not your problem. One of my favorite quotes asserts, “Stop trying to be liked by everybody, YOU don’t even like everybody.” The minute I read it, my mindset shifted. It’s okay to not be liked by everyone. If you have a good group of people around you who like you for you, I think that’s enough. It’s a paralyzing thought to not be liked by everyone, especially if you are a chronic people-pleaser and overthinker like me. What I’ve found most important is to stay true to yourself, keep your goals in mind, stay focused, keep good people around you, and try to live in the moment. I know those all sound like signs at Hobby Lobby, but I think they’re really important to remember. Also, journaling or talking to someone about your thoughts (no matter how insane or unrealistic they sound) are amazing ways to get them out of your head. Once you verbalize (or write) how you’re feeling, it doesn’t take up as much room in your head. It leaves space for you to live in the moment and to focus on other important areas of your life. 

I don’t think I’m done discovering what self-care means to me, but I’m excited to continue learning and growing as I enter this new phase in my life. 

Lachlan is a new member of the Her Campus Chapter at CU Boulder this 23-24 academic school year. Along with being a new writer, she is also on the social team, working with a team of fellow writers to create posts for the HCCU Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and VSCO. Lachlan is a first-year student at CU Boulder majoring in Psychology with a minor in Business. In HCCU, she hopes to find a new passion and to expand her creativity. She's very passionate about anything food/coffee related, feminism, discussing social media, and mental health. Outside of writing and school, she loves to cook, read romance books, listen to new music, stalk her Spotify Daylist, and explore new restaurants and coffee shops. You can usually find her either watching the same 3 rom-coms on rotation or scrolling through Pinterest.