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5 Self-Care Activities to benefit your mental health

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Finals season is coming up, which means it’s the perfect time to share some self-care activities that will certainly get you through all your impending mess. All of these activities help me, and I’m sure that they will help you out, too!

Journaling

Journaling is one of the self-care activities I practice that helps my mental health the most. Just writing about my day and getting all my thoughts out helps me process my day-to-day occurrences. Even just looking up a journal prompt and journaling based on my day helps me put things in perspective because it allows me to dive deeper into how I feel and who I am as a person.

Taking walks in nature/getting fresh air

Now, I know this may sound cheesy, but taking a step outside and breathing in the fresh air helps me tremendously. This may be because I’m usually cooped up in my room most of the time, both in college and at home, but getting some fresh air and taking a walk in nature feels like it heals my soul. The fresh air, some excellent music, and gazing at nature helps out immensely and makes me feel as though I am somewhat in control of my life. It also just slows down my thinking, and I take the time to relish the outside world before heading back inside to my responsibilities again.

playing an instrument (specifically the violin)

I would label this as being creative, but I wanted to be more specific about what helps me regarding my mental health. I find that taking the time to play an instrument, specifically the violin, makes me feel better. For example, if I’m having a rough day, or it’s been a long day of homework, I’ll try to take the time to practice a piece that I love in a practice room or at home. I especially love practicing old pieces that I learned in the high school orchestra I was in. It fills me with nostalgia and reminds me of when I and others all worked together towards the same goal: learning a piece of music and performing it for an audience to hear.

reconnecting and checking in on friends

Taking the time out of my day to slide up on someone’s Snapchat story, write a comment on a friend’s Instagram post, or ask how someone is doing helps lift my mood tremendously. I also just like connecting with people in general, especially my good friends, and to be frank, it makes me happy when my friends are happy. I like hearing that they’re doing well and that things are working out for them, and I also enjoy giving them advice if they ever need it. It makes me even happier when they appreciate and use the advice that I’ve given them.

reading books

Reading books makes me feel better when I immerse myself into an entirely fictional world and get attached to characters that don’t even exist. On a more serious note, though, I truly enjoy reading both fiction and (some) non-fiction books. In fiction books, I appreciate how authors give characters enough time for character development and how two characters end up in the end. I enjoy reading romance fiction books the most, and I want them even more if they end on a happy note. In non-fiction books, I admire how much research the author has put into the book, especially if it’s about a topic that I’m interested in.

These five activities have helped me throughout my life, and continue to help me as finals creep up on us. To anyone who is interested in trying these activities listed above, I would suggest going for it! Set aside or find a time in your day where you’re not busy and maybe journal about something exciting in your day, or pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read and start it. All of these activities–– except for playing an instrument if you don’t know how to–– can easily be implemented into your daily life.

Jenna is a freshman at TCNJ and is a Journalism & Professional Writing Major. She goes by She/They pronouns. Their hobbies consist of playing the violin, playing video games, writing, and reading.
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