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7 Ways to Practice Self-Care that Aren’t Face Masks

While self-care is vitally important and is valid no matter how you practice it, it has somehow morphed into being seen as eating chocolate cake in a bubble bath with a face mask on. If that’s how you want to practice self-care and take care of yourself, then do ya thing. But if you’re like me and don’t love baths and get a headache from too much sugar, then you might be looking for some other ways to practice self-care. Here are eight suggestions to get you started— but don’t rule out that whole face mask in a bubble bath with cake thing. You might need it at some point, especially with midterms right around the corner!

1. Do yoga (or other exercise).

Take a few minutes and go into downward dog or warrior pose and focus on your breathing for a few minutes, or go for a run or to the gym – whatever gets your blood pumping.

2. Practice mindfulness.

This can be meditating, focusing on your breathing or just clearing your mind for a minute or two— all of which can help you feel less stressed and more relaxed, which is really what self-care is all about.

3. Journal.

I’m a huge believer in journaling as a form of stress relief or self-care. Make a to-do list, doodle a little or try your hand at that bullet journal thing that’s all over Pinterest — get creative and let your mind wander.

4. Spend some time with yourself.

Sometimes, the best form of self-care is just that — taking care of, and prioritizing, yourself. Cancel your plans and hang out with yourself for a few hours. Take some time to relax and recharge by yourself. After all, you are sort of stuck with yourself for the rest of your life — better make sure you like yourself.

5. Splurge a little.

Sometimes, self-care is relaxing and staying in. Other times, it’s going out and treating yourself to something you DESERVE. This could be some ice cream if you’ve had a long week, that new top you’ve been eyeing or new shoes just for the hell of it. Rewarding yourself, even if it’s just for waking up on time, can be a vital form of self-care.

6. Spend some time in nature.

Being outside does wonders for the brain. Walking around a park, or even around campus, can help you to loosen up and relax a little. It also helps you appreciate all the beauty that nature has to offer, no matter the season.

7. Go to a shelter and hang out with some animals.

Hanging out with an animal if you don’t have one can be incredibly therapeutic — and honestly, who doesn’t want to cuddle with a dog for a few minutes/hours? (No shade to people who have animal fears or allergies!) Some shelters will let you take a dog or cat for a walk or home with you for a day or two, so look into that if you want!

I hope these tips helped you find a way to practice self-care that isn’t blowing your budget at Lush! Do you have any other ways to practice self-care we might have missed? Let us know!

Image Credits: Cover photo1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Emily is a part-time coffee addict and a full-time English and Public Relations student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She enjoys all things punny, intersectional feminism, Chrissy Teigen's tweets and considers herself a bagel & schmear connoisseur. You can probably find her either listening to the Hamilton soundtrack or binge watching The Office for the thousandth time
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