10 Unique Self-Care Ideas

With all the stress college brings, it’s always important to remember to take care of your mental health! The importance of self-care should not be overlooked and taken lightly. Ideas for self-care can be as small as taking a quick power nap to spendin’ that moolah on a night out with good friends and food. However, if you’re looking to spice up your self-care repertoire, here are 10 unique ide as!

1. Take Care of a Succulent

Succulents, depending on the type, are usually low-maintenance plants that require only two major things: lots of sunlight and the occasional watering. These bad boys usually can go a week without watering since they are storage-type plants, similar to cacti. Aside from the basic pot and soil that all plants require, succulent plants are also relatively inexpensive, going for $2 at your local Walmart.

Benefits: Since they are low-maintenance plants, taking care of a succulent does not require a lot of responsibility. They also tend to grow fairly quickly, which could give a sense of reward and satisfaction for helping a life grow. Consider investing in these little green children!

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2. Watch an episode of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross

If you’re lacking in the “What to Watch on Netflix” department or aimlessly scrolling through YouTube deciding what to watch, consider giving The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross a try. The show has over 400 episodes, so if you do not find the first painting interesting, there are 402 other options to choose from.

Benefits: The The Joy of Painting is known to simulate ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response through the therapeutic sounds of the brush strokes to the chill voice of painter Bob Ross. And seriously, this guy is super chill with all the kind things and life lessons he gives while he’s painting. Watching The Joy of Painting tends to be a calming yet motivating experience that you should definitely consider giving a try!

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3. Play a Social Simulation Game for an Hour

Despite the negative connotations gaming tends to receive due to the violence and sexism present, some games can actually decrease stress and induce relaxation without encountering those mentioned above. Social simulation games are defined as those where the focus is on the social interactions between the player and artificial beings in the game. Good examples of these are the Sims or my personal favorite, Animal Crossing.

Benefits: Social simulation games can give a sense of “control” when you feel like you have none in real life. It can pave way for creativity and whenever it gets too taxing, you can always save and turn it off until you are ready to play again. Having a game where you can easily accomplish things and freely express yourself in if you ever are feeling restricted in real life can be a great outlet for self-care.

Photo Courtesy: Thonky.com

4. Chill Out and Listen to an Album

Living in a fast-paced society and with the tendency to multitask, music tends to be pleasant background noise as I go about daily tasks. However, the fast-paced style of living makes it so that even listening to a 4-minute song is difficult. Dedicating time to just focus all your energy on listening to an album can help immensely with slowing down life and taking it in stride.

Benefits: It seems silly or even difficult but sometimes with all the hectic things going on in our daily lives we never get to find time to “stop and smell the roses.” Buckling down and just channeling energy on listening to the lyrics or composition of the music can help in this. Also, it’s a great way to give appreciation to the artist!

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5. Walk Into a Furniture Store and Mentally Construct Your Future Apartment

For those that do not have the opportunity to actually purchase furniture, it does not mean you can’t think about what you would like to put in your home once they finally reach independence.

Benefits: Whether it’s with a friend or by yourself, walking into a furniture store like Crate & Barrel, Pier 1 Imports, or IKEA can inspire creativity. It also can give positive vibes for the future and can be something to look forward to when you are ready to move on to the next stage!

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6. Build a Fort (Bonus Points If You Do It With a Friend)

Building?? A fort?? It’s like the epitome of reliving childhood! But just because you did it as a kid does not mean you can’t do it now. Whenever I look back at the times I built one, I only have fond memories and the excitement to do it again. If you never built one, that’s okay too because it’s never too late to start!

Benefits: It seems like an arduous task or even silly, but it’s like building your own little world. It’s also something that you can do with a friend, and it is a rewarding experience once it is accomplished. It could be simple or complex, it’s all up to you!

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7. Read a Comic or Children’s Book With Lots of Pictures

Although it seems childish, reading a comic or a children’s book requires little to no thinking in comparison to the difficult reading materials we are presented each class.

Benefits: You get to relive your childhood! Or what’s left of it at least. I find myself laughing or smiling when I find time to actually read books under these genres for fun. It’s also a nice way to delve into another world which gives you time to get away from the issues you face now, if only for a little while.

Photo Courtesy: Book Depository

8. Write a Letter to Your Future Self and Hide It Somewhere

At the beginning of every year in high school, we always had to write a letter to our future selves. At the end of the year we’d get them back and what our past selves believed was important to write down was always a great surprise. So why not try it for yourself?

Benefits: The benefit of writing a letter to yourself is that only YOU know what’s in it. It could be serious or even funny reading and recalling what was going on with you in that particular moment. Another fun thing with letters is that it doesn’t have to be just written words, you could draw something or even put in stuff like money. What a fun surprise that would be when you randomly find it while cleaning!

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9. Spend Time Looking at Useless Facts

You ask why, but why not? Sometimes the useless facts I read are great conversation starters or are too ridiculous that you can’t help giving a laugh. Did you know that a group of cats is called a chowder? Well, you do now! What will you do with it? It’s up to you!

Benefits: Although they are useless, you’re learning something. Some might not be as useless as you think! Overall, they’re a fun way to kill time if you need a picker upper. Who knows, they may even help you in the future if you ever get to go on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire!

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10. Plan a Picnic With Someone (Bonus Points if You Actually Do It)

Food is never a bad thing. Talking to someone about plans to eat food isn’t as well.

Benefits: Picnics are a difficult task, I will admit. Sometimes the weather won’t cooperate, or people won’t show up but the bottom line of this self-care idea is just to plan. It doesn’t mean you have to follow through with it, but the planning aspect is the most fun part of the task. Potato salad or hummus and lemonade? Will you bring the plates and silverware? All are easy questions that have easy answers to, and the possibilities are endless!

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In all seriousness collegiettes, taking care of your mental health is as important as your grades, or even more so. If not taken care of properly, it could lead to serious burnout or a negative outlook on life. Take time to reflect on how you’re feeling each day and in the wise words of Tom and Donna, never be afraid to take time to Treat Yo Self!