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Self-care is something that we all need. Before this year, I used to think that self-care was unproductive, which made me push it aside most of the time. As I am sure many of us are feeling right now or have felt at some point this year, I felt very anxious. My anxiety was really beginning to overwhelm me, so I sought professional help from a Therapist from the middle of September to the middle of October. I am happy to tell you that my anxiety has decreased significantly since then.


My therapist taught me how important self-care is, and in every session she would ask me what I was doing for self-care that day. I really believe that practicing self-care is vital to reducing my anxiety. Self-care isn’t just spa-like treatments, self-care is truly taking care of you and your mind. Self-care might look different for each person. Here are some of my self-care / anxiety-reducing tips.


  1. Take Baths – I know many of you reading this are probably are at college and do not have access to a bath, but luckily for me I do, because I am remote. I never took baths other than when I was very little, but funny enough the very first piece of self-care my therapist recommended was taking a bath. I can report that taking a hot bath is very relaxing and great for anxiety reduction. I also recommend lighting a candle for ambiance and a great smell, but please keep it away from anything that can catch fire. I also recommend using this time to try breathing exercises and read (we will talk more about this later)
  2. Journal – Writing how I feel out on paper always makes me feel better. It often helps me release my emotions and then I am able to reflect on how I feel. Don’t be stressed about what to write, simply just start writing.
  3. Candles – I know a lot of colleges don’t allow candles, but because I am remote, I can use all the candles I want. To me, lighting a candle at any point in the day makes me feel like I am taking care of myself. It is such a simple thing to do, but it makes me happy and makes my room smell good.
  4. Breathing Exercises – I used to never be able to do breathing exercises, but during my Freshman year in college it was recommended to me to try breathing exercises to reduce stress and anxiety. When I did therapy recently, my therapist recommended the same exact exercise to me. Here it is: breathe in for 3 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, and then breathe out for 4 seconds. Repeat this for 30 seconds to a minute (or until you feel calmer).
  5. Read – I never used to be a reader either, but something about reading is just very relaxing. Whenever I pick up a book to read, it feels like a luxury because normally I am scrolling through social media or watching Netflix. I love reading because you can learn so much (I love self-help/self-improvement books) or even escape to a whole new world.
  6. Watch a light-hearted show – A light-hearted show can distract from anxiety and is also a big stress reliever. My favorite light-hearted shows to watch on Netflix are The Great British Baking Show, Emily in Paris, Queer Eye, and Next in Fashion.
  7. Make a gratitude list – I try and write down 5 things every day that I am grateful for. I used to think that writing down things that I am grateful for was weird, but I was so wrong. It brings your mind’s attention to the good things in your life. I always find it helpful to see the good in my life and remind myself of it.
  8. Shift your mindset to be more positive – This may seem daunting, but it is easier than you think. Whenever I have a negative thought or a judgmental thought, I always try to change it. I remind myself of the reverse thought. For example, if I think “I look bad today”, I turn it around and say “No, I am beautiful, and maybe I feel prettier other days, but I am still beautiful”. I also find that this applies to judging other people. Now I always think “It is not my place to judge this person, I am not in their shoes, so I don’t know what their life really looks like”. Just changing your mindset in little ways can make all the difference.
  9. Go on a walk – I truly believe in the power of the fresh air and the outdoors. I’m not much of an outdoorsy girl, but I do love a good walk by the beach. I try and go on walks as much as possible throughout the week. When we are anxious or stressed, we often feel in our heads, but getting outdoors helps to relieve some of those feelings.
  10. Face masks – I am a skincare lover, so anything skincare is self-care to me, but masks really feel great on the skin. My favorite types of masks are sheet masks because they are easy, not messy, require no wash off, and are packed with a great essence for your skin.


I really try and do one or multiple of these every day. Self-care is a really great tool, especially now with everything going on in the world. I hope you take time each and every day for self-care because it is so important.

Samantha Conti

Stonehill '22

Student at Stonehill College.
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