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Between dealing with the Polar Vortex, midterms and the usual stress of everyday life, maintaining overall well being can become difficult and tiring. Though it may take away precious time from doing something you deem more worthy, it’s imperative to set aside time each day to cater to yourself. We all have our own ways to decompress and recharge, here are a few general acts of self-love to give you some ideas.

1.  Journaling

It can be relieving to write down the events of the day or maybe just your inner thoughts and feelings at the time. Getting it out of your head and into the world (even if that’s just into your private journal) can be very beneficial for your emotional health. Journaling at times where I may feel stressed out, or upset is an effective calming mechanism for me. Barnes & Noble offers an array of uniquely decorated journals. If you’re searching for a journal with prompts to help guide you, you can try Amazon for a  practice journal.

2.  Meditating

Now before you stop reading, hear me out. Meditation is a very effective and beneficial tool for decompressing stress, anxiety and so much more. Focusing on taking deep breaths can help relieve stress and anxious feelings, lengthen attention span, increase longevity and help you control your emotions, says neuroscientist Sara Lazar according to The Washington Post. After having practiced for a couple years now, meditation has helped me developed a longer attention span and has helped tremendously with my feelings of anxiousness. Apps like Oak and Headspace offer helpful guided meditations for beginners.

3.  Pamper Yourself

Every now and then, we need a night dedicated to maintaining our physical bodies. Putting on a face mask, doing a hair treatment or giving yourself a manicure (not only for girls!) are some simple ways to show yourself some love and attention. One of the most reliable stores for skincare, Lush, offers a wide variety of face masks, cleansers, moisturizers and bath bombs for all skin types. Another notable brand, Shea Moisture, offers a line of face masks that can be found at Target.

4.  Getting Active

Trust me, I know how annoying it is when people tell you to work out. Going to the gym and torturing yourself for thirty minutes isn’t what I mean. The point is to find something that you genuinely enjoy doing, like biking or yoga, that’ll also release endorphins. Apps like ClassPass and MINDBODY are helpful tools allowing you to search for numerous different fitness studios and classes near you.

5. Treating Yourself

You work hard and you, therefore, deserve a nice treat every now and then. Whether it be a new pair of shoes or just your favorite drink from Starbucks, kind gestures towards yourself are simple ways to make yourself happy. That being said, be cautious of overdoing it. Blowing all your money on “treats” and neglecting responsibilities isn’t in your best interest and can lead to even more stress down the road.

Staying on top of all things life throws at you is a seemingly never-ending to-do list, but above all of that, remember to take care of yourself. Showing yourself love and kindness will help motivate and empower you to conquer everything else.

Lily is currently in her fourth semester at UMKC's in their Masters in Counseling program. Whenever she can be with friends she is, when she's not she enjoys reading and doing yoga. Lily has a passion for human rights, mental health, pop-culture and writing.
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