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Mental Health

7 Ways to Practice Self-Care

I struggle with mental illness daily. I also am a young female college student who lives alone in a one bedroom apartment in Northern Atlanta. You might think that it’s a lonely lifestyle since all I do is study and work, but learning to adapt is key to staying happy. People have their own ways of living and personally my motto is that I believe you should do what makes you happy as long as no one is getting hurt, especially yourself. Here are ways that you can practice self-care as we try to keep living in our own insane world (considering an election had just happened in our country).

Learn to say no

I get it. You want to make people happy, but there is a line between being too much of a people pleaser and genuinely making others happy. It’s unhealthy to please others at your own expense.  Learn how to set healthy boundaries for others because that is a key foundation of building and maintaining healthy relationships with loved ones.

Drink water

I’m bad at trying to follow through with this, I’ll admit that much. But it’s generally a good idea to drink enough fluid and take in a reasonable amount of calories in order to stay energised throughout the day. Water also helps flush out toxins throughout the body and keeps you from getting dehydrated.

Treat yourself

This isn’t to be confused with wasting money by constantly eating out and buying things you don’t need because you feel as if you deserve it. There’s a reason why I believe it’s great to work as hard as you can, there’s a benefit of knowing you accomplished that much and it’ll pay off when you’re able to comfortably pay bills, even having enough to occasionally splurge. Try out a new place to eat, gets one of those face cleansing masks or those pore strips. In fact, this step doesn’t even require money to be spent; it can be as little as taking a nice shower or wearing comfortable clothes as well (make sure to don’t overuse water though!).

Listen to music

I’m somebody who walks around with earbuds wherever I go. The reason being is because music helps me get through the day in a way that’s hard to explain. I don’t enjoy singing or dancing, I don’t do it, but it helps ease the anxiety while I’m doing something as simple as grocery shopping. Ease the auditory senses and treat yourself to your favourite song.

Cook food

Going back to staying on budget and making sure you don’t toss your money away at a box of pizza, cooking food is not only arguably cheaper but also you do it at the comfort of your own home. Spaghetti is fairly easy to cook if that’s your thing. If you don’t know how to cook, there are ways of learning simple recipes. If you are a foodie type of person, there are interesting recipes that you can get from the Internet or your nearest grocery store.

Embrace the people around you

I can be the first person to say that making friends in adulthood is hard. That is why it’s best to embrace the people you already have around you who genuinely care for you and your well-being. You can do something as simple as texting somebody that you have a good day or a voicemail to your beau saying how amazing they are and how much you love them. Learn to enjoy what you have because you never know until you find out way too late whether you take anybody for granted or not.

Put your energy into something you enjoy

Work on something that you find inspirational. Work on something that makes you happy. Research something new that you are curious about. Feed your brain and don’t stop learning. Create that outlet where you can put your energy out onto in a healthy way. Learn to metabolise the stress and toxicity into healthy attitudes and thoughts.

Cosette Nelson


Hello! I am a student at SCAD’s Atlanta campus studying for a B.F.A. in sequential art. I am a staff writer for SCAD ATL’s HerCampus chapter and I write opinion-based articles based around current news, pop culture, mental health, and intersectional feminism. If you have any suggestions for article ideas, email me at askcosettehercampus@gmail.com
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