It is easy to get caught up in the craziness of life. On top of school work and our personal lives, each and every one of us (humans, that is) are fighting our own individual battles. It is important to find little or big things that bring us joy in the midst of this STRESS. Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to figure out what self-care ritual you need.

What has been causing my stress?

When you ask yourself this question, you're attempting to get down to the root of the problem. ( want to address this really quickly: stress is VERY different from anxiety and depression. As someone who has experienced both firsthand, both of these things require special attention. They are very real and if you think you might be struggling with these things, reach out to someone you trust and let them know. Getting help is the first step to bettering your mental state and starting to be the happiest version of you that you can be!

The stress I'm referring to in this article is just that: stress. Has it been a specific class that's been particularly hard or a friend that has been causing some unwanted drama? Something going on back home or an overcrowded schedule? Whatever it may be, understanding what it is that is warranting the stress is the first step to figuring out how to resolve some of it and take care of YOU in the process.

When was the last time I did something for me?

Wake up, shower, eat breakfast, go to class, study in the library, go back to my dorm, go to class...The routine of our day to day life can be tiring some days. By asking yourself this question, you can start to figure out how often you let your body, mind, and soul rest and do something for you rather than do something that feels like an obligation.

Where does my energy come from?

This might seem like an odd question, but stick with me on it really quickly. Let me break this down. I am an extrovert. I love walking into a room where I know nobody and figuring out who is who and striking up conversations with others who have virtually nothing in common with me. Like, seriously, I love it. I get my energy from others and being around people. An introvert might get their energy from time spent alone with their thoughts or a hobby or with one or two people engaging in a conversation. It's all about where you fall between the two. Sometimes, I like to have time alone. Where does your energy come from?

What brings you joy?

Joy is one of my favorite words. It is so wholesome and kind of wraps happiness and life and love into one emotion. Joy is so much deeper than happiness. It's something that sets your soul on fire when you see it, or makes you jump up and down when you hear it, or get goosebumps when you feel it. Strip this word down. Joy. What gives you life? What are you in love with? What do you want to live for? Answering this question will let you know what it is that you need to have more of in your life.

I hope these few questions have started to rattle your brain at what you need to do more of to take care of YOU. Self-care is so important. I've also included a brief list of small self-care things that I personally love to do when I need to decompress:

1. Movie night

2. Face masks, painting my nails, hot shower, etc... basically a self-made spa day

3. Work out

4. Read

5. Go for a walk or a hike

6. Call someone you miss

7. Color

8. Bake or cook

9. Go exploring

10. Take a drive

11. Clean

12. Nap

13. Listen to music

14. Go to one of your favorite places

15. DIY project

16. Plan a trip

17. Meditate/pray

18. Give a stranger a compliment

19. Tell someone you love them

20. Wear your favorite outfit

21. KEEP DOING YOU.

And remember that your mental and physical well being are worth taking care of. Make time for you, keep being amazing, thanks for coming to my TED Talk.