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We all know that self-care is important, but when life gets busy it’s hard to make it a priority. It is something we should be practicing on a regular basis as a proactive measure to promote well-being, not just as a reaction to stress. It can be helpful to have a variety of self-care practices that you are comfortable with so you can mix it up and not get bored. Keeping a list of your favourite self-care activities can also be great for the times when you find yourself overwhelmed. One way to ensure you have a variety of options is by having a ready-to-go activity in mind for each of your five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. Focusing on any one of your five senses is a great grounding tool. Here are a few of my favourite self-care activities for each of the five senses!  


Looking through some of my old pictures. Try scrolling all the way back the beginning of the photo roll on your phone. If you have physical photos, look through those. I really enjoy looking through all of the photos I have taken on my polaroid camera. Reading a book. Reread an old favourite, or try something new. I personally really enjoy fantasy as it allows me to escape the mundane stressors of my life.  


Listening to music. I like to make different playlists to match all of my moods. Naming these playlists can be fun too. Going outside. Try closing your eyes, and focus on what you can hear going on around you. Try this in various locations for different effects, for example in the city vs on a hiking trail. 


Eating my favourite baked goods, and if I have time, try to bake them myself. I find that even if they do not turn out the way I expect it is still a fun process. Trying a new fancy drink; for example, I would really like to try the whipped coffee that was all over Tik Tok last year.  


I cannot personally recommend any specific activities in this area as I cannot smell, but maybe try lighting a candle, or use a diffuser with your favourite essential oil.  


I really enjoy fidget toys, there is a reason they are so popular. I particularly like infinity cubes. Try knitting or crocheting. There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube, and you can find free patterns all over the internet. I like to knit while I watch TV. Keeping my hands busy stops me from looking at my phone, and makes watching TV a much more mindful experience. 

Remember, everybody is unique when it comes to what self-care activities will be effective for them. These are all strategies that I like to use, but they may not be effective for you. Be patient with yourself and keep an open mind until you have come up with a set of self-care activities that you are comfortable with and always remember to practice self-care on a regular basis. 

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Kaylyn Heine

Laurier Brantford '22

Hi, I'm Kaylyn! I'm a social work major at Wilfrid Laurier University. My passions are reading, coffee, and social justice.
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