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As nice as it would be to spend a weekend at a spa with close friends, we all know that can be unfortunately unrealistic, given many of our limited budgets. However, that does not mean you still can’t create a perfect self-care day! Below are some self-care ideas that have worked for me and that I think are worth sharing with y’all.

Meditating.

Okay, let me preface this by saying that initially, I was a huge skeptic of meditating. I’ve tried it before in the past and didn’t really see any benefits. What I have figured out is that it’s all about your mindset. If you don’t think it’s going to work, then it won’t. However, if you go into it with a more optimistic attitude, then you’ll definitely notice a difference! I use Headspace every night before I go to bed and I now fall asleep so much quicker than I used to. For some other mediating guidances, Calm is another popular app and there are also tons of free youtube videos out there. I started out with about three-five minute meditations when I first started, but I am now doing about 11-12 minutes every day. A lot of people like to start off their morning this way, but I find that it helps calm me down before bed.

Watch your favorite childhood movies.

There is no basis for why this works for me, but it does. I could be having the worst day ever, but after watching the Princess Diaries, all is okay in the world. I think there is something about childhood nostalgia that calms me down. Sometimes you just want to escape “adulting,” and this is the perfect way to do that.

Making dinner.

I love cooking and eating, so cooking works out perfectly for me. Cooking is something I look forward to at the end of every day. Listening to music while cutting up my veggies is very serene. If you don’t like cooking, try baking. And if nothing else, take-out is always an option. Order from your favorite place, and don’t be afraid to get an extra side or a milkshake to treat yourself. That extra five dollars is money well spent if it makes you happier.

Doing something outside.

Now that spring is upon us (yay!), that means we can finally spend more time outside. Even if you have a crazy day and a whole bunch of homework to do, you can still attend virtual class from your backyard or work on homework on the Horseshoe. It is crazy to see how much vitamin D can impact your mood.

DIY spa day.

Now this is definitely something you can’t do every night, but you can for sure save it for special occasions. Right after midterms would be a perfect time to do this with some of your closest friends. Doing facemasks, watching terribly funny movies (I recommended Mean Girls), making some fancy cucumber water, painting your nails, lighting candles, or painting are only just a few ideas to make your DIY spa day perfect.

Do something nice for yourself.

If you are not taken care of, you cannot take care of others. I am the last person that should be telling you this as I rarely obey this rule, but if the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that taking one day for yourself can help you truly help everyone else around you. Buy yourself some nice flowers, try that restaurant you’ve been wanting to go to, read that book that you’ll say you’ll read “when you have time” (but there never seems to be time.) Whatever it is that makes you happy.

It’s the little things in life that seem to have the biggest impact. Hopefully you find some, or even maybe all, of these ideas helpful. There are so so so many more ideas out there for you to try, so if none of these float your boat, just do a quick Google search. Try those that might work for you, and I’m sure that you’ll be feeling more “zen” soon enough!

Emily Baniewicz

South Carolina '22

Hey y'all! I am a junior at the University of South Carolina studying Public Health a with minor in Spanish. I am pre-med and one day hope to be a sports neurologist. In my free time, I love watching football and soccer, hanging out with friends, and going to the beach!
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