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When I think of self-care, I think of pretty bubble baths and freshly lit candles. People say they are practicing self-care when they put on a face mask, or maybe when they treat themselves to a nice dinner out. What no one really thinks about is “real” self-care. What I am talking about here is cutting toxic people out of your life, or dragging yourself out of bed after three days of nothingness. Self-care is so much more than a treat; it is a way of life. It’s putting yourself first, and taking the appropriate steps to become the best you can be.

 

My self-care routine has truly taken a turn for the better in 2018, and it’s not cute or “Instagram-worthy”. For me, it has meant cutting people out of my life who had been a constant for quite some time, and that hurts. It has meant throwing myself into situations that I would normally run from, anything from eating healthier to accepting myself for who I am and what I need. It is pain and sorrow and grief. Self-care is crying when you need to be sad. It is giving yourself permission to feel, and acknowledging that an emotion exists without criticizing it. A common misconception about self-care is that it is selfish, but in order to be your best for society you have to be in tune with what your body needs. A lifestyle filled with self-care isn’t inherently selfish, it is natural.

 

The “real” self-care is not doing it for others or to seem trendy. It is to genuinely want what is best for your body, and not care about what others think about it. Self-care can be cute. It can also be extremely painful. It can be anything; forcing yourself out of bed or eating a plate full of pasta. I think the most important thing we can do for ourselves in this world is make sure we are fulfilled and happy in the life we choose to live. Here are some tips for starting self-care in your own life, and before you know it you will be well on your way to being much happier and mindful of your own needs.

 

  • Take a hard look at the people around you and make sure each one is contributing to your life in a positive way.

  • Make an effort each day to clean your space. A uncluttered desk = A clear mind.

  • Take pride in caring for your body. Spend five minutes longer in the shower. Put a mask on and meditate.

  • Create a hierarchy of what is most important to you and make time for those things first

  • A night out might sound nice, but if you feel overwhelmed as it is it’s probably better to stay in. Most importantly, do what YOU need to do. You know what your mind and body can handle.

  • Self-care is MIND, BODY, and SOUL.

 

Much love,

Shy

Shyana is a freshman majoring in Journalism at SUNY New Paltz. Along with HerCampus, she is also active in Relay for Life and the Honors Program. She has an unhealthy obsession with a lot of things, including Netflix, HGTV, anything Disney, Pumpkin Spice, and country music. Her dream is to become a successful magazine writer in either fashion or lifestyle, where she is able to live by the ocean and be close to her family.
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