Therapies of Life: Self-Love for College Students And Beyond

I’ve amassed an expanded list below of ways to practice self-love as a college student. Before I delve into the specifics, I’d like to say that I think part of self-love is making time for what you care about. This is very particular to our lives right now, but I think it’s a challenge to think about for the rest of our lives. I say this from a place of experience; “I don’t have the time” was an excuse I would give for years, but that is a !fake! excuse. Whether you say this to others or to yourself, you’re lying. You can always make time.

But I want to focus on what to do when you do make time for yourself. Please keep in mind, to each his (or her, or their) own! What I enjoy doing may not at all be what you enjoy doing. But in an effort to offer you some suggestions on how to boost your self-love, I’ve created my personal list. A lot of the items are things I’ve learned these past two months, so I’d also like to emphasize how we are always evolving and growing ever wiser. I do think self-love is more than making time for what you love; it’s about how you feel inside and how you see yourself. If you do make time for things that make you happy, it’ll show. It’ll also relieve you of stress and create a healthy balance in your life. Anyway, behold: ma liste.

1: Identify and make time for your hobbies

It’s important to know your hobbies and to make time for them. So many times I’ve been asked maybe on a trip or during my study abroad “What are your hobbies?” and it used to stump me. Which is weird, because this is a question about . . . me. I didn’t do much in my free time between school and work. Even if you can’t make time for all your hobbies, whether it be drawing, reading, writing, at least try one (hint: writing this article is one of mine). I find that having a creative outlet is incredibly stimulating and refreshing, even in small doses. I like to call it: creative catharsis.

2: Decorate your home

 

Source

 

Home here can be defined as where you live or you as your person. You are your home. Paint your nails. Straighten or curl your hair. Wear colorful eyeliner or even some glitter. Whatever makes ya happy. (You have a finite time on Earth. Do you need to withstand meaningless external judgments? I think not). School and work can get busy so I find ways to incorporate something fun into my clothing or makeup just to keep things new and so that I’m always excited to go about my day.

Also, a thing I realized helps me: when I first moved in, I didn’t automatically cover my walls or room with decor. I did enough so that it feels like home but I also left small scattered “projects” here and there. This means that when I have fifteen minutes of free time whenever that is, I can put up two paintings or arrange ten photos or finish my bulletin board. Again, creative catharsis.

3: Commend yourself for your successes and incentivize yourself

A personal incentive system has really been helping me out lately. I think I have a bit of a shopping addiction but to keep that in check, I told myself that if I didn’t eat out this week I would allow myself to buy the equivalent of my food budget in clothes. I also said that if I went to all my econometrics classes and tutoring for a specific period of time, I would grant myself a purchase I’d wanted for a while. Incentivizing myself with positive rewards really helps me get things done. Maybe your incentives aren’t things you can consume. Maybe it could be “when I finish my homework I’ll paint my nails” etc. whatever works for you. But I think it’s really important to reward your successes (whatever success means to you). Sometimes I even also think it's good to celebrate existing (in moderation, though).

4: Buy flowers. Smell flowers. Take pictures of flowers. Flower therapy. Color therapy. Aromatherapy

 

Divya Chandorkar

 

I’m no expert in this. All I know is that these things make me enjoy my existence.

Extra tip: Trader Joe’s is a goldmine for cheap and colorful flowers.

5: Eat

Plan, cook and have at least one really good meal this week. Cook for just yourself, for friends, for your significant other. Cooking isn’t fun for everyone but if it is for you, find a new recipe. (An app I just found: Kitchen Stories). Try a new fruit or spice or cheese. I like to indulge in one item each grocery trip. For example, last week I bought pepper jack cheese as a novelty, and now I’m super excited to cook with it. Little things really add to my week and I’m sure they will for you.

Divya Chandorkar 

6: Be a little cheesy. Or a lot.

Tell your friends or write about how much you love them. This is a less “direct” tip for self-love but sometimes doing this fills you with so much gratitude and love and I think this is a truly magical feeling.

Et finalement,

All of these tips are things that help me love myself. I hope at least some of them work for you or spark ideas. These are all generally “little things” but I think “little things” are the key to enjoying existence and enjoying yourself. However, at the core, self-love isn’t just about doing these things even though they might kickstart the sentiment. Self-love is an amalgamation of activities that make you happy and the feeling you exude when you are truly yourself.