A Little Self Care Never Hurt Nobody

A Little Self Care Never Hurt Nobody

It may be summer, but don't forget to take care of yourself.
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During spring break this past semester, I already knew that my finals week was going to be very stressful. Thus, I made the decision to write my articles for Odyssey ahead of time. Luckily or perhaps unfortunately for me so much had happened in my life leading up to spring break that I had a lot of material to base my articles on. However, with saying that, as I write this article right now, it has been a solid month and a half since I have sat down to write an article.

To be honest, it feels really nice to come back to my laptop and type away how I have been feeling lately. For one, the end of my semester was hectic, to say the least. It consisted of finishing up my exams, driving back and forth from the city to campus in order to attend both my sister’s and a lot of my friend’s graduation and coming to terms with what a crazy semester and school year it has been.

After finishing my sophomore year, I feel like I have gotten to know myself in so many new ways. So much of our lives is people telling us that we still have so much to learn and so I am grateful for this past school year for giving to me the challenges and joys that it did. I feel like I know myself a lot better now and there is a great sense of comfort that comes with this feeling.

With that said, something that I learned quite recently and would like to take the time to highlight is listening and caring for myself. After school ended and I watched my friends walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, I thought that I would be incredibly overjoyed for them and for myself. However, for a couple days after graduation, I was really sad and didn’t want to do anything. I literally laid in bed for two days just thinking to myself why was I feeling this way.

This is when listening to myself came in. Instead of being hard on myself for lying in bed for two days and not doing anything but watch YouTube videos, I did some self-reflection. I paused and sincerely asked myself why I was feeling so down. I came up with a couple answers.

One, my boyfriend had graduated and knowing that I wasn’t going to see him on campus every day made me want to sit on my bed and cry.

Secondly, my grandparents were town and seeing that I do not have the best relationship with them, hiding out in my room seemed to be my solution to avoiding them.

Thirdly, I knew that my depression-like symptoms may stem from my PMS. Last but certainly not least, I knew that my body was reacting this way because I was simply exhausted. As mentioned before, the ending to my semester was incredibly chaotic and I think this was my body and mind’s way of telling me that I need to relax.

This brings me to taking care of myself.

See, once you have self-reflected and understood why you are feeling the way that you are, you have to do something about it. For me, that meant taking a couple of days to truly relax and recover. It also meant encouraging myself to get up and do things when I knew I was ready to. Even when I was feeling a little better, I still took it easy. I danced a little bit, put on a face mask, got a haircut and overall had a relaxing day.

Being able to listen to my body and take care of myself is something that I am very happy I learned this semester. It honestly is a lot harder than people make it seem because so often we jump to conclusions, even if it is about ourselves.

Cover Image Credit: Nidhi Singh

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.

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I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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