Self-care and self-love have been some really important things on the internet recently. People are finally starting to realize how important mental health is and how much it can affect us; especially those of us in school.
A simple and fun way to get started on taking care of yourself is creating your own self-care list. If you’re ever feeling down, or just need a good pick-me-up after an especially boring day, a pretty list of things you know make you feel good is a great way to make sure you take charge of your emotions. Here are some ideas to add to your list.
Do An Exercise You Actually Enjoy
Exercise is shown to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, the mood and pleasure neurotransmitters in the brain, AKA, exercise literally changes your brain chemicals to make you feel better. Various studies, like this one, show that exercise can decrease levels of depression!
Some ideas to get you started? Yoga is a great idea if you’re not ready for buckets of sweat, don’t be fooled though, standing in a wide stance with your arms spread out in a warrior pose starts to ache after five long breaths. Simple jogging might be something to add to your list if that’s your thing. Either way, doing some kind of exercise is great to get your mind off of stress and focus on keeping your body going strong.
Do Your Favourite Meditation-Oriented Activity
Instead of moving to get your mind off things and relax, do the opposite and be still and breathe deeply. Adult colouring is a fun, all-ages-friendly activity that can be meditative if done in a comfortable setting. Other simple ways to relax your nerves could be writing out a list (like this one!) or drawing something to focus really hard on the lines and clearing your mind.
If you’d like to try a meditation to do every day (or just whenever you feel like you need it) I really suggest checking out DavidJi’s 40-Day Feast For the Soul. There’s no pressure to do it in 40 Days, or even follow it in order, but the layout and set-up is really nice. Even though he might sounds extremely cheesy and hippie-like, I promise it’s worth just trying out.
Try A Grounding Activity
Grounding is something you need when you feel like you’re about to either explode or take off into another realm of stress. It can help you re-focus on the present, and might bring you down from the edge.
Common but useful grounding activities can be things like,
- Stating facts like your name, where you are, what day/time it is, etc.
- Counting up to 100 (or even counting down from 100, which requires more thought).
- Taking a moment to take in your surroundings in the present moment: what do you see, hear, smell, feel? Can you feel a breeze? Does is smell like french fries? Is someone tapping their pencil on their desk?
Adding a grounding activity to your list of things to do when you need some self-care is a great thing to try. You may find out that you like it more than you thought, but everyone is different.
Do Something You Don’t Often Give Yourself Time to Do
Have you missed out on some reading? Academic or casual? Catch up on a chapter or two. Have an artsy personality? Do a few doodles or make a sketch of something that inspires you. Beat yourself over scrolling through Tumblr for hours? Take some time and do that without any negative self-talk. There’s nothing wrong with taking some time to yourself and doing the things you really enjoy. Planning out time in your day to just be alone and enjoy yourself can be very important when working towards a calmer life.
Nap it Out
Live Science says,
“Conventional wisdom suggests that by “sleeping on it,” we clear our minds and relieve ourselves of the immediacy (and accompanying stress) of making a decision. Sleep also helps organize our memories, process the information of the day, and solve problems.”
Often times when we’re stressed and worried about things, we want to give up and sleep, and sometimes, that might be exactly what you need. Taking a nap in the middle of the day will give you an energy boost when you wake up. It might not be so bad to add “take a nap” to your list of things to do when you need some self-care.
Need More Ideas?
If you didn’t know, Tumblr is a great resource for finding some positivity when you need it, like this cute little turtle from Ellie Bednall!
If you want some more cool ideas for self-care activities/moments, check out some of these pretty lists!
The Compassion Project has a lovely list of 80+ self-care ideas to do!
The Tumblr page, self-care-kit.tumblr.com is really pretty and rather uplifting, no matter who you are or what you need.
Psychology Today even has their own master list, featuring seven different kinds of activities to try adding to your list!
I hope this can help you on your self-care adventure. Lots of love!