The things I’ve been doing to take care of myself lately have been things I’ve been trying to do for the past seven years. The things I’ve been doing to take care of myself are things I was not doing before. The things I’ve been doing for myself are the things I want to do to take care of myself. So, the usual things I do are to take care of myself.
1.) Saying No
For the past three months, I’ve been saying no to a lot more things. I haven’t been saying no because I don’t want to do these things or because I think it’s much better for me. In fact, I’ve been saying no because sometimes I just need to recharge so I can optimize my social battery. All summer, people asked me if I wanted to hang out or go do things and I felt terrible saying no all the time. One of the things I thought I was doing by trying to take care of myself was saying no to help. However, I learned this summer that I need to start going to therapy and I need to start talking to someone other than my family and friends. I kept saying no and no and no because I didn’t want to talk to anybody; I just wanted to figure it out on my own and be independent. So, saying no can be both a blessing and a curse.
2.) Taking Time for Myself
Something else I’ve been doing for the past little bit has been taking time for myself. I go on walks by myself, I stay in my room by myself, I read by myself, and the best thing I did was walk around Boston by myself. I took the train, I walked 7 miles in the city, and I sat in the public garden for three hours reading. That was when I started to realize I need to take more time for myself. Ever since I’ve been back at school, every single night before bed, I lay on my floor for 10 minutes and look at the ceiling. Some people may think this is crazy, but it is my form of relaxation and taking time for myself before I go to bed so I don’t go to bed upset, anxious, or depressed. Although being by myself is not something I enjoy doing, I enjoy taking time for myself because I know it’s what I need after a long day and if I want to sleep well at night.
3.) Not Caring about what Other People Think
I’ve been doing this one for a while, but it first started for me during the summer when I was going through a tough breakup. Even though this goes against the first article I ever wrote about dating apps, I decided to go back to dating apps. However, I wasn’t on dating apps to just find guys to hook up with or talk to someone for one day and then ghost them or be ghosted the next. I knew what I was looking for. I was looking for somebody I wanted to date and eventually marry. The whole time I was on these apps, I was caring so much about what people thought about me and when people wanted to stop talking to me, I took it personally. I shouldn’t have taken it personally. I shouldn’t care what people think about me because I know when I’m looking for the right person they will like me for who I am and they won’t care about the small things. Ever since being back at school, I haven’t cared about what people thought about me. Recently, I have been meeting so many more people, my social life is thriving, my academics are very strong, and I just don’t care what anyone thinks about me. Having come back to school early, this mindset has helped things become much easier for me.
I’m not saying that these things will work for everybody, but they are the things I found for myself and some of my friends who were also going through at the same experiences. It’s really interesting to see how much these things are helping me to take care of myself. There is a huge difference in the way I feel in myself right now than I did at the beginning of the summer. If you take one thing away from reading this, I hope it’s that you are your best friend but I hope you also know it’s okay that sometimes you won’t be your own best friend. If you’re able to take care of yourself and be happy with yourself, that’s all you need to do because you’re the only one who should care about yourself and it’s not up to other people to tell you what is and what isn’t okay.