Small Things I Do To Feel Better

Life gets hard sometimes, and as we all know, has gotten extra intense during the past year.  So often we forget to reflect and to check in on ourselves.  Not only that, but we forget to do things that make us happy or make excuses to not do things that make us feel better.  We live in a society with an incredibly pervasive hustle culture, which can make it easy to think that taking time for ourselves is a waste of time and that we constantly have to be ‘grinding’.  But NO, it is NOT a waste of time and it is NOT something we should keep ignoring.  It is beneficial and completely necessary to take care of ourselves and take time to do things that better our minds and bodies.  As a college student, whether it be time or money, I feel like I always find excuses to not do exactly what I am telling everyone else to do.  So throughout the past year, I have been working on really becoming self-aware and being more intentional with my habits of self-care and self-reflection.  With that being said, I thought I could give you all some insider tips into four of my favorite small ways to make myself feel better when life gets hard!  

  1. 1. Sing karaoke

    Let’s face it, we all pretend to be a popstar or rockstar every once in a while.  Whether it be regular old singing in the shower, humming to your favorite song in bed, or finding a garage or staircase with the best acoustics to belt your heart out to your favorite ballad, there are so many ways to pretend to be Ariana Grande or Celine Deon for a little while.  It doesn’t matter if you can or can’t sing, if there are people around or not to hear, or whether you are singing to Disney or 80s rock, belting your heart out can release so many thoughts and feelings and allow you to escape for a little while.  There is this whole trend in the world right now of going to a mountain and screaming, just to release your feelings.  Now, realistically we can’t all do that, so personally I release my feelings by weekly (or daily) singalongs with myself.  If you really want to go crazy, maybe buy a microphone.  Just let yourself be for a second, don’t worry about anything else,  just acknowledge what you are feeling and let it go through your ~musical abilities~.

  2. 2. Make playlists

    black record player on white bed sheets

    If you know me or have read any of my previous articles, you know I have an obsession with making playlists on Spotify.  Not only do I have the obsession, but I also never shut up about it.  Truly I can’t express how therapeutic making playlists and listening to music in general have been throughout my life.  I know we don’t all experience the world the same and we don’t all have the same coping mechanisms, but I truly believe music is a universal language that we can all understand and experience on an emotional level.  Like I’ve said before, use your feelings to make playlists that you relate to or that distract you, or even that you can sing along to (for a solid karaoke night - hint hint, this tip and the first go together really well).  

  3. 3. Journal

    woman writing in notebook

    Yeah, yeah, I know. Journaling is super cliche and something that a ton of people probably tell you to do and you probably don’t want to hear about it again.  I also know for a lot of people, including myself, journaling seems tedious and time-consuming, maybe even scary.  Taking the time to sit down to write for even just 10 minutes can feel like a huge task in our busy schedules.  Confronting your feelings and acknowledging what you are going through can be a grueling process, but ultimately I really believe it is therapeutic and helpful.  There may be times where you feel like no one will understand what you are going through, or you don’t want to talk about what you are feeling in general, and that’s when the journal can truly be a lifeline.  Being able to write down your feelings and reflect on them can not only be a way to vent, but also a way to combat feelings that come with anxiety and self-doubt.  Not only can journaling be therapeutic, but it is also a way to track memories.  I love grabbing business cards or pamphlets or little souvenirs to put in my journal so that I can have little mementos from some of my greatest experiences. 

  4. 4.  Watch bloopers of your favorite shows on YouTube

    YouTube application on laptop

    This is one of my all-time favorite activities for when I need a serotonin-boosting pick-me-up.  Even if your favorite show is a serious show, I can guarantee the bloopers will make you smile.  Personally, I am incredibly stereotypical when it comes to the shows I watch, so my favorite bloopers tend to come from Friends, The Office and my favorite childhood shows from Disney or Nickelodeon.  Not only can you watch bloopers from your favorite shows, but you could also search for bloopers based on your favorite movie, favorite actor, favorite actress, literally anything.  I am very much so a person who will laugh when anyone else laughs, so watching these bloopers makes my serotonin skyrocket, even if for a small period of time.  So, pick your favorite show, search for some bloopers videos, grab some popcorn and a drink, and prepare to have the time of your life.

Obviously these things won’t be the answer for everyone, and I don’t expect them to.  But what I hope to push forward through this article is the true importance of both self reflection and self care.  We live in a crazy world, and for many of us in college, we are in an overall crazy, and sometimes really dang scary, time in our lives filled with confusion and change.  Being able to acknowledge your feelings, work through them, and find ways to take care of yourself is so critical. You are important and deserving of happiness and self love.