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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Simmons chapter.

I remember being in High School and thinking that self care meant taking a bubble bath with a scented candle, doing a facemask, or buying some fuzzy socks. Most of us have been there, and most of us have realized that self care just isn’t that simple. That’s not to say that those things aren’t great, because they are! But as for truly taking care of yourself and your wellbeing… not super effective. Here’s why; self care is not a one step fix, it does not look the same for everybody, and it requires some conscious effort. With that in mind, here are 5 specific actions you can take that can help you on your self-care journey.


1. Brain Spill

How: Get out a piece of paper or a journal, set a timer for anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, and just start writing. Try not to stop writing until the timer goes off. Then go back through what you wrote and highlight anything that stands out to you / you think might be meaningful or helpful to revisit.

Why: We are all human beings with complex emotions, ideas, and needs. Sometimes these things get lost in the hecticness of everyday life. I’ve found that taking a chunk of time to write down everything on my mind can help clear up some space in my head or help me pinpoint exactly what areas of my life need some more attention.

Modifications: You can opt to type on a computer or your phone if that is easier for you. If you feel comfortable and wouldn’t be disturbing anyone, you can also try speaking out loud rather than writing and see where that takes you. It is going to feel pretty ridiculous, but I personally have found this is sometimes even more effective!


2. Screen Free Hour

How: Set a timer for an hour, and try not to use your phone, laptop, TV, game consoles, etc. until the timer goes off. Ideally, spend this hour somewhere private and comfortable. During my hour of screen free time, I personally like to color, write, read, knit, do yoga, or bake.

Why: Our screens give us access to news, social media, TV, games, and much more. And I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. Sometimes having a distraction from real life can be really helpful. But when it comes to actually taking care of yourself and your needs, screens can be very counterproductive. As I mentioned earlier, self care requires a conscious effort, and screens distract from that effort.

Modifications: If an hour doesn’t seem doable, try just going 30 minutes, or even just 15! 


3. Go To Bed Early

How: For most of us, going to bed early isn’t a feasible option for every day. But, if you can, just for one night, try going to bed (turn off the lights, put your phone down, turn off Netflix, etc) at least an hour earlier than you normally do. Schedule out your workload so you don’t have to do any that night, skip going to the gym, put away your laptop, and get some sleep! 

Why: I’ve frequently found that when I am feeling overwhelmed and just not like myself it is because I am exhausted. Our brains function so much better and can handle so much more when we get enough sleep. 

Modifications: If it is easier for you to sleep in late rather than go to bed early, you can always try that too. But nothing beats waking up before your alarm and feeling well rested!


4. Meditate

How: There are guided meditations on YouTube and on countless apps that you can if you aren’t comfortable meditating on your own. Some focus on breathing, some focus on visualization, and others focus on being present in your body. Try out a few and see what you like! You can also choose to meditate in silence or with calming music. 

Why: Meditation is an excellent way to improve your overall well being and connect with yourself. It can help with being more mindful / present, calm anxiety or nervousness, and bring gratitude and love to the forefront of your thoughts. 

Modifications: If mediation seems like it will be uncomfortable for you, or isn’t practical for where you are, you can try simple breathing exercises. Again, there are guided breathing exercises on YouTube and various phone apps that you can try. It will have a similar effect to actual meditation.


5. Talk with a Therapist

How: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Talk to a licensed therapist about your feelings, troubles, confusions, successes, anything on your mind. 

Why: Talking out loud about what is on your mind is a great way to clear your head and pinpoint what you need to focus on. Having the additional support and advice of a therapist can make this process easier and more pleasurable. 

Modifications: If you do not have access to a therapist (which unfortunately many of us don’t), taking some time to talk to a trusted friend, professor, or family member about how you are feeling and what is going on in your life can also be beneficial.




Alyssa is a Sophomore at Simmons University planning on pursuing a Psychology major and Sociology minor. She loves to write and is passionate about mental health!
Julia Hansen is a senior at Simmons studying PR/Marketing Communications and English with minors in cinema, media arts, and graphic design. When not writing for Her Campus, she can be found reading every book she can find, retweeting photos of dogs and binge-watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix. Find her on IG @juliarosehansen