Self Care: It's More Essential Than You May Believe

Today we live in a society where we value the opinion and well-being of others more than ourselves. While this is an admirable attribute, and one that I myself am guilty of having, it is just as important to care for yourself. It isn’t selfish or self-centered to take a mental-health day where you shut your phone off, lock your door, and forget about everything that is going on outside of those walls. Let’s be real, so many of our problems wouldn’t be existent if we didn’t have cell phones. So for those who are looking for a quick escape from reality to put your mind at ease, here are a few little things that can help put your mind at ease and bring you the quick rest and self love that you deserve.

One of the most helpful, yet simple, things that you can do is take a shower. There is just something about your alone time in the shower that makes you feel brand new. Being able to fully wash yourself and start fresh is not only cleansing for your body, but cleansing for your mind as well. Or, if you have more time on your hands, take a bath. Just run some warm water, light a few candles, throw in a bath bomb and binge watch a new series on Netflix. That quick escape with privacy and the knowing that you cannot be walked in on is the best feeling. This gives your mind and body the time to cleanse in the private. So don’t be afraid to lay in there until your entire body becomes one giant prune. There is nothing like an hour long bath to cleanse the soul.

Something that I find is helpful is the small successes throughout the day. It isn’t necessarily the huge milestones that make you feel better, but the small, everyday accomplishments are more likely to bring you more happiness and fulfillment. One of these small accomplishments is making your bed. When you wake up in the morning, spend the five minutes to put your bed together. I promise you that you will thank yourself when you are ready to go to sleep.

Don’t just stop at making our bed, though. Plug in your favorite music and clean your entire room. Being able to organize your room top to bottom gives toy such a sense of accomplishment when you are done. Whenever you are overwhelmed with homework, your roommates, boys, work, or anything in between, just put your life on a pause and get to cleaning. Whether you just clean your desk off or make your entire room like the cover of an IKEA magazine, just that small accomplishment of cleaning can completely change your motivation and outlook on the entire day. So roll up your sleeves and don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into it.

Going off of the cleaning kick, doing laundry can be just as pleasing. One of my favorite things to do is put on some music that makes me want to sing and dance, I empty my drawers and I refold all of my clothes. Dance around your room and play basketball with your freshly rolled socks. Organize your drawers so they look identical to a display you would see in Macy’s. Switch up your room, even, and move your clothes from one drawer to another. While change in life can be scary, it isn’t as bad when you start off with small changes, such as moving your clothes around, or maybe rotating the setup in your room. While change is scary, it is inevitable and doesn’t automatically imply something bad. Change can be good and should be embraced instead of rejected.

There are other hobbies that are so beneficial for your mental health that some people knock before they even try it. Running, although hated by the majority of the human population, along with other aerobic exercise releases endorphins in your brain that make you happy. There's just something about working up a sweat and looking back on your workout and thinking, “hey I just did that!” that makes you feel like you can do anything. There are other low key things such as writing, knitting, painting, drawing, and other creatively-stimulating activities that help you bring your mind out of the stress of your daily obligations and into a place where you feel at ease. While you do whatever it is that bring you to your happy place, you should try listening to a custom-made playlist of times like this. Put together all the songs that you cannot physically listen to without wanting to sing at the top of your lungs. That kind of setting will help pull you out of whatever you are mentally stuck in and bring you to somewhere much happier and brighter.

Self care is not all that is may appear to be on Instagram. Yes, eating super healthy food, doing face masks and hitting the gym all may be beneficial, but the focus of self care is to help reenergize not only your body, but your mind. It is meant for self- loving and finally taking the time to focus on what is best for you, not anyone else. It is necessary at times to put yourself before everything. In order to take care of others and begin intimate relationships with other people, you need to first have a strong sense of who you are and take care of yourself. So take a few hours out of your Sunday and a few minutes out of your everyday life and remember that you are important and that you deserve the same love and attention that you give to those you care about.