23 Self-Care Tips To Follow This Year

23 Self-Care Tips To Follow This Year

Because change doesn't happen in a day.

Whoever came up with the quote "new year, new me" should have said "new year, improved me" because the obvious truth is that no one changes over night. The word "improve" seems to be a better fit because we all know that improvements take time. Flowers don't bloom right away, houses aren't fixed in a day, and broken bones don't mend as quickly as we'd like.

If you've been looking for the time to start taking better care of yourself, there is no better moment to start than the beginning of a new year. Put an end to those strict New Year's resolutions, endless excuses, or feelings of failure. Like I said, improving yourself is a process. It's not done in one year, but over the course of a lifetime. Taking part in self-care is one way to truly improve your life and nourish your mind, body, and soul. So, join me in practicing more self-care in 2018, and try out these tips:

1. Turn off your electronics

One of the worst feelings ever is the helplessness that accompanies a dead phone battery. Whenever I'm out and about with a dead phone, I always find myself reaching for that dang device even though I know it won't turn on. It's really just a sad habit. We could go without phones and laptops years ago, and we can surely do it again.

2. Take care of your body and your skin

You're stuck with the same body your entire life, so you may as well love and nourish it. It's totally acceptable to splurge on bath bombs, face masks, and skin sprays; show your body a little gratitude! It's also important to eat a well balanced diet and get plenty of sleep.

3. Remove toxic people

You don't have to be rude or blunt about it, but if someone in your life is doing more harm than good, it's best to cut him or her out of the picture. It's easier said than done, of course, but you'll feel as though a weight has been lifted.

4. Become OK with saying no

I've always found it difficult to turn down plans or leave people hanging, but I've also found that life goes on even if you do say no. If you already have too much on your plate, or you're simply against something, there's no shame in saying no.

5. Accept compliments (and give more of them)

Compliments have a tendency to make us feel uncomfortable, but let the kind gestures flatter you! A humble thank you and compliment in return can go a long way, trust me.

6. Be productive in the morning

I'm not much of a morning person, but I figured if I'm going to get up early, why not use my time wisely? That way, no matter how the rest of the day goes, at least one thing gets checked off of the to-do list.

7. Find your mantra

A mantra is a word or phrase to live by, essentially like a motto. Pick something that you can repeat to yourself in order to get through tough times.

8. Reflect

If you can, try to write down one thing you did each day, even if it seems like you didn't accomplish any big tasks. Every accomplishment should be recognized.

9. Laugh more often

Whether you want to hangout with your best friends or watch some YouTube videos and Vines from the comfort of your bed is up to you, but both are no-fail options.

10. Complain less

It's so incredibly hard to get into this mindset, but most of life isn't necessarily about what happens to you; it's about how you react. Try to have more positive reactions than negative ones.

11. Improve your posture

Seriously, I'm too young to have back pain...

12. Set reminders ahead of time

Be sure to utilize alarms, post-it-notes, planners, and calendars more often in order to stay on top of things.

13. Limit your night time snacking

For some reason, the weirdest cravings seem to kick in after 11 P.M. I totally get it, but there are lots of negative effects associated with eating late at night.

14. Have dance parties or car jam sessions

Dance and sing like no one else is in the room; it will be sure to heal you.

15. Cook or bake something that makes you happy

Yes, it's important to eat a well-balanced diet, but if homemade mac and cheese or chocolate chip cookies will make your day a little better, why not indulge once in a while?

16. Live a more minimalistic life

They say the way you keep your space is an accurate representation of your thoughts or headspace. If you look around and all you see is clutter, you know it's time to clean and instead, live simply.

17. Listen to your "gut feeling"

I'm talking about your intuition, that little voice that you ignore because it tells you not to do something. You should listen. It's usually right.

18. Bring balance into your life

No one's perfect, but I think one of the best talents one can have is the ability to balance the different aspects of life: family, friends, health, school, work, and leisure.

19. Make plans so that you have things to look forward to

Even if you only make the smallest of plans, this will still give you a new reason to get up in the morning. You could arrange a breakfast date, go hiking, go to the Farmer's Market, order something in the mail, or take a road trip.

20. Move around

Maybe cardio is your thing, or maybe the thought of running makes you want to curl up in the fetal position. However you choose to workout will be sure to benefit you greatly. The options can range from cardio, to yoga, the gym, pilates, swimming, or biking.

21. Let your emotions out

It's so so important to let yourself feel (the good, the bad, and the ugly!) it's good to feel it all. Bottling everything up is dangerous for your well-being.

22. Count your blessings

Whether you're religious or not, it's important to be thankful for what you have in life. All too often we don't know how good we have it until something is taken away.

23. Take a break from everything and relax

All in all, don't work too hard or overwhelm yourself with these tips. These tips are not the same as "typical" New Year's goals or resolutions. There shouldn't be much pressure involved. These tips are simply to help you transition into your healthiest self over time!

Self-care is essential for your physical and mental well-being. Don't let yourself get swept away in the stress, monotony, or exhaustion of everyday life this year, or the years to follow.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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The Lazy Girl's Guide To The Gym

Also, everything else you should know if you're a slightly out-of-shape girl (like me).


With my freshman year coming to an end, I realized a lot of things. I made new friends, I found new hobbies, and I learned a lot of lessons. One of them being that the "Freshman 15" is very real and very scary.

While my friends and family have attempted multiple times to convince me that I'm just being dramatic (I am), I still want to make a change in my lifestyle or I will, in all seriousness, be on track to the "Sophomore 20".

Here is a list of my best gym and healthy lifestyle tips that I am slowly attempting to live by this summer in order to resurrect Emily's 18-year-old body and health.

1. Increase water intake.

2. Find a gym buddy.

3. Start off with cardio.

4. Don't stop on your cardio until you're dripping in sweat.

5. Chug a LOT of water an hour before the gym.

Do not do it right before, or you will be in pain.

6. Eat light beforehand but just enough to hold you over. 

7. Plan out what your routine will be BEFORE you get there.

My routine: Elliptical for a mile, Stairmaster for 10 minutes, ab HIIT workout for 10 minutes, 5 more minutes on Stairmaster.

8. Buy healthy foods while you're feeling motivated.

9. Find a gym that isn't too far from your house. 

10. Don't get mad at yourself if you don't see results in a day.

I know this is a hard one.

11. Try fitness classes. 

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