15 Simple Self Care Tips To Use When You're Struggling

15 Simple Self Care Tips To Use When You're Struggling

Have you loved you today?

I think that, for most of us, there are times in our lives when it all just feels like too much. For some people, it may last days, weeks, months, maybe even years. Sometimes, just waking up for the day, going to work, or putting one foot in front of the other is a struggle. Maybe it’s because you live with a mental illness, maybe it’s because you’ve had your heart broken, maybe you’re trying to cope with a loss, maybe you're struggling to find your place in the world, or maybe there’s no exact reason for why you’re feeling down.

No matter the reasoning, I hope you realize it is OK to not be OK. Life can be messy, painful, difficult and confusing. Because of this, taking care of yourself should be your first priority. Self care comes in many different forms and it's important to find what works for your individual self. Many self care tips don't take into consideration that people struggling often lack motivation, so going on a vacation or a running a marathon is unrealistic. Sometimes, just getting out of bed is an accomplishment worth acknowledging. These 15 tips are simple and help me, and I hope you or a loved one you know, can benefit as much as i do.

1. Call a trusted friend or family member and talk it out

Getting your thoughts out of your head is essential to start feeling better. Even if your family and friend's don't understand your struggle, they can still be there for you and listen.

2. Create a morning and evening routine that you can look forward to and unwind to

Having a predictable routine can bring so much comfort and grounding in times of life that feel confusing or out of control.

3. Go for a walk/run by yourself, with a friend, or your dog

Sometimes, a walk to clear your mind is the most therapeutic thing you can do.

4. Work out and create goals for yourself

The feeling of doing something good for yourself and your body is unbelievable. Seeing progress, even if it's not much, will help your motivation and attitude about yourself.

5. Shower

Sometimes we forget about our personal hygiene because it's the last thing on our minds. But it is a start to feeling better when we take care of our selves.

6. Eat and Hydrate

This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but many people going through a hard time have no appetite. It is important to give our body what it needs and get nutrients and water.

7. Ask for help

Nobody should have to struggle alone. It is OK to be at a loss on what to do next. Turning to someone trustworthy or a professional is nothing to be ashamed of. That is what they are there for.

8. Write it out

Keep a journal, type, do whatever is best for you. Many people including myself, can have a hard time expressing themselves. Writing is good way to reflect on your feelings

9. Limit your time on your phone and social media

Social media and certain people can be triggering to your emotions. It's helpful to find other things to stay busy with other than your phone.

10. Spend time with your friends and family

Try not to isolate yourself, as hard as that can be not to. It can be as simple as a visit to their home, or grabbing lunch. It can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but you don't have to carry it alone.

11. Get back into your hobbies and passions

Pick out a new book to read, find new music, go grab that old baseball mitt and throw with someone, volunteer at a humane society or school, do whatever it is that brings you happiness.

12. Get a healthy amount of sleep

If your situation causes you to not get enough sleep, take the time to properly rest yourself throughout the day. If you are sleeping too much and lack the motivation, use this list as ways to get up and get active for yourself and your body.

13. Educate yourself on what you are going through

Look for ways to cope and get help. Find others who have faced similar struggles. Seek out those role models for inspiration.

14. Keep your space clean and organized

When the area that you spend your time is clean, it is one less thing to worry about. Having your physical space in order, can help yourself feel more together as well.

15. Challenge your negative thoughts

Recognizing that your current way of thinking might be self-defeating, can sometimes motivate you to look at things from a different perspective. This is something that takes a lot of practice but is worth the hard work.

This is a good starting point to get you thinking about how you can best take care of yourself during a hard time and to spark your curiosity and interest in strengthening your self-care now and ongoing. You are the expert of your own experience and only you know what’s best for you. I hope that in reading this you’re also realizing how normal and natural it is to struggle and to have these tough, hard times. It’s part of being human. Take care and love yourself first!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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An Open Letter To The Person Feeling Everything Is Too Much

The strongest people to exist struggle the most.


Hey, you.

I heard through the grapevine that life's got you in the dumps. You're feeling overwhelmed by your surroundings, stressed by your responsibilities, sensitive to the things that people are saying; everything just feels like it is too much. It almost feels like you're stuck in a room filling up with water. You know that the door opens, but you're numbed by the circumstances; you can't get yourself to take hold of that handle, so you just stand there, frozen in time. You feel the water rising up around your body, and with every inch it gains, you get even more overwhelmed. Maybe the water flooding in contains your schoolwork, your family dynamic, your drama within your friend group, your relationship status, internal anger about who you are or aren't, or hell, maybe all of these.

You feel like life is throwing rogue waves at you left and right, and you can't understand it. Why is this happening to me? Why is life trying to break me?

Well, let me tell you something that has taken me years to even grasp, let alone fully understand.

The strongest people to exist struggle the most. They are given some of the most intricately woven issues that may not have a black and white solution but live somewhere within the gray. Things pile up and upon them until everything feels like too much. And you know what they do, the strongest people to exist?

They break.

They stand there, trapped in that water-filling room, and let the water seep in. They don't open that door, they don't take the easy way out. They stand there, thinking about what is being thrown at them, not knowing what to do. They let the water overwhelm them, completely filling the room. And right when they feel that they can't take this anymore, like everything is too much, the door breaks... they break. The strongest become the weakest as they float out of the room, carried by the rushing water filled with their burdens. They lay washed up on the shore, weaker than ever... broken and cracked, frozen and numbed by life.

While they lay there broken and numb, weakness does something so immaculate and beautiful: it settles into the brokenness and the cracks like fresh, fertile soil, planting the seeds of wisdom and strength. Over time as it continues to rain, wisdom and strength grow throughout their bones like vines, making them even stronger than they were before they got trapped in that room before they broke. The strongest people to exist break frequently, so that room can be made for more love, more strength, and more wisdom than imaginable.

Now you may be thinking, why this analogy? What are you getting at?

I want you to know, and read this closely: it is okay to break. It's okay to let everything feel like it's too much because you know what? Sometimes it is, it just is. Sometimes, you have to just stand there, and let yourself feel. Let it explode and wash over you. Let it leave you cracked. Once the explosion has ridden its course. analyze the broken pieces you feel inside. Look at them individually and try to find the root of that feeling. Finding the knowledge behind that feeling means that you now know how to fight back. So you know what you do? You piece yourself back together, slowly but surely, using wisdom as the glue, and you come back stronger than ever before.

You have to break before you can grow. Let yourself feel, feel all of it. Break and be grown anew.

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