I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a rough semester so far and I am so ready for the semester to end. From balancing classes, work, and assignments, I have been loaded with work and barely have made time for myself. Personally, I believe that junior year in particular has taken a negative toll on my mental health (junior year is always the hardest).
I found myself tiring myself out and not taking care of mental health the way I should have. After finding time to rest and relax, I found some small routines I like to do every day and every week to help me be more happy and positive.
The first thing I try to do every Sunday or Monday is to journal about my week. I wrote in a previous article, My Life with Journaling, that I’ve been journaling since I was a kid. I write down what I’ve been up to and let everything out to express how I’ve been feeling. Journaling helps me de-stress but also allows me to have fun and relax because I’ve been able to get everything off my chest with writing.
The second thing I try to do is reward myself each week for all the hard work I’ve done. Whether it’s grabbing a cup of coffee, getting dessert, buying clothes, or sleeping in, I try to do something for myself to make me feel a lot better. I recently bought some new athletic wear from Lululemon and treated myself to dessert after acing one of my exams and gaining two scholarships last week. Not only do I reward myself for all my accomplishments, I do something for myself when I had a rough day. I learned that rewarding myself is one of the best self-care things I could do every week.
The third thing I do is my skin care routine. I have been very self conscious with my skin growing up and have been getting facials with the same aesthetician since the sixth grade (love you, Kylie!). I get facials every few weeks to help with my acne, but also to hydrate my skin. Not only do I get facials, I buy and use face masks every Sunday night to help moisturize and smoothen my skin!
The fourth thing I do is try to do a walk or workout every other day. I have found that working out every other day has helped me feel more active and healthier. I’ve been trying to walk outdoors more since the weather has been getting warmer and follow workout videos in my basement. I love walking around my block while listening to music because it allows me to stay off my phone (sort of) and appreciate the nice weather. Also, I have been into Madfit workouts recently and have enjoyed following her videos for the past month after my walks!
The fifth thing I do is allow myself to watch any Netflix or YouTube videos I’ve put in my watchlist. I have been so busy that I haven’t been able to catch up with the recent content so I always tell myself a 10-30 minute video is a great way to get away from school. Even though I feel guilty for not staying productive, I remember that taking a small break to watch something actually helps me get motivated to return to my assignments before I end the night.
The last thing I have been doing is reading in my free time before I go to bed. I recently finished, “The Duke and I”, because I really enjoyed watching Bridgerton on Netflix, and I am currently re-reading Legend, a book I mentioned in my previous article, My Version of Book TikTok. Reading has helped me stay of my phone and relax. I have enjoyed reading for a very long time and am trying to find ways to include it in my weekly schedules, even if it’s only 10 to 20 minutes.
Overall, these small self-care routines have positively improved my mental health the past few weeks and I recommend other people to find daily or weekly routines amongst their busy schedules too!