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Mental Health

Four 30 Minute Self-Care Routines to Recover from Finals Week

Take care of yourself. Every day you need about 30 minutes of spending time focusing on your health and spirituality, another 30 minutes resting and relaxing and another 30 minutes for expressing yourself in some way—especially creative ones—and lastly take at least 30 minutes to focus on companionship. Here are four self-care routines to help satisfy each of these four needs and get you on the way to living your best life. 

1. Health/Spirituality

  • Make a healthy snack—Getting a snack can be a great pick me up.
  • Practice yoga—Yoga is a major stress reliever. You also can benefit from yoga in other ways. It strengthens your body, helps cope with insomnia, improves your posture, improves muscle tone and improves functions of your internal organs. It can also help relax your mind, improves your flexibility, helps burn excess fat, helps build mental focus and can also improve your blood circulation.
  • Go for a walk/run—Running is a relaxing way to relieve stress. It not only relieves your stress, but it also clears your mind.
  • Meditate/pray—Meditating so that you don’t stay in a funk is very important. It can help you from getting to the point where you’re so lonely that you start taking back relationships and friendships that are toxic. You have to stay strong and build your endorphins up. Before you can offer to help anyone, you must always make sure you yourself are in a situation to help. Meditating plays directly into your spirituality. Your spirituality is having your own experience; therefore, meditating creates your own self-experience that leads to a better and stronger mind. The reason you want this is that you spend most of your life inside your head, therefore you want to make sure it’s a nice place for you to be. Your headspace is important to remain safe and calm. 
  • Affirmations—Say affirmations out loud, creating a deep conviction. Speaking it into existence that you’ll have a positive attitude and face whatever comes your way that day. When you have an affirmation, it’s like opening up a door. It’s the first step onto the path that sets change.

2. Rest/Relaxation

  • Listen to music—A form of escaping. When you listen to music it’s as if you’re in your own world, away from everything else going up in flames around you. Listening to music is like when you zone out, you completely forget about your troubles. Music on, world off.
  • Take a timeout—Sometimes taking a timeout is essential. Sometimes, you need to get outside, get some air and just remind yourself who you are and who you want to be, so you can make those goals. You have to take a break from all the noise in order to be able to appreciate the beauty of silence. Especially in this generation, you have to learn to unplug for your own peace of mind and to restore function so you’re not sucked into this portal of technology.
  • Take a bath/shower—There are many benefits to taking hot baths and hot showers. Bathing can improve your heart health and may help you to breathe easier. Your brain and nervous system benefit because you’re reducing your pain and inflammation, which calms your nervous system. This reduces the levels of stress and anxiety in your body and helps to improve your mood.
  • Take a nap—After a nap, your stress levels decrease. This improves your cognitive functioning. In addition, you gain more patience, a better reaction time, you learn more and you’re more efficient.
  • Read a book—reading not only instills knowledge in you, but it’s like you’re provided with your own imaginary escape. Reading is like a conversation, all books talk, and they talk to you. It’s as if you’re dreaming but with your eyes wide open. Getting lost in a book is a great break for your mental state. A book is a gift that keeps giving and giving—it swallows up your heart and soul and creates something great. 

3. Expression

  • Free write—Just writing and putting your emotions and feelings into words, even just for your own expression, is one of the best things to do to relieve stress. Just write whatever comes to your mind. Don’t edit or correct anything. Write without restrictions.
  • Draw/paint—This is another way of keeping a diary. Painting is the equivalent to writing, just in a different form. When you express your emotions and feelings through art it’s as if you’re silently expressing your thoughts and the music of sight. It’s a form of self-discovery.
  • Gardening—Growing plants is a way to please your soul, challenge the elements and challenge your patience. Challenging yourself is good for your soul every once in a while. There are no mistakes in gardening, just experiments.
  • Sing/dance—These are other forms of being able to express yourself. Singing exercises your heart and lungs and releases endorphins that make you feel good. Dancing is like a hidden language of the soul of your body. When you dance you can enjoy just being yourself; when dancing you forget about everything else and you just feel happy. Singing and dancing are both forms that enable you to find yourself and lose yourself all at the same time.
  • Other hobbies—Finding hobbies that best fit you and that you actually enjoy is important. Your hobbies should be ways for you to relieve some pressure on yourself. Your hobbies are a way to make your free time more enjoyable. 

4. Companionship

  • Call a friend—Just picking up the phone and calling a friend can relieve a lot of stress for you. Talking to your friends provides you this sense of somewhere you can escape.
  • Write a letter—When you write a letter, even if you’re not writing to anyone, it can be a way to express your emotions without giving any details of how you feel to anyone.
  • Meet for coffee—Drinking gallons and gallons of coffee isn’t good for you, but drinking a cup of coffee with a friend or two can do a lot of good for your mental state. Coffee with friends can help you to free your mind, ease stress and soak up positive vibes. Anytime you meet with friends, it’s like your problems just drift away.

All images courtesy of Tumblr.

Kamaria is a double major in English Literature & Communications. Kamaria has served two companies with their editing departments for blogging and journalism. She has been published in two literary magazines. When she’s not watching Netflix, traveling, reading, or writing; you can catch her watching and playing sports. Please email any praise, comments, tips, hate, or inquiries to kyi7777@gmail.com
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