​Self-Care Isn’t Always Pretty

​Self-Care Isn’t Always Pretty

But we have to do it anyway.
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On the whole as a society, when we think of the term, “self-care” we think of fuzzy blankets, tea, bubble baths, and string lights in our rooms. We tend to think of taking the day off from work or class, sleeping in, eating comfort food, maybe some meditating, and just letting ourselves rest for the day. That’s all well and good, but there comes a point where that is hurting you more than it’s helping you.

Self-care isn’t always pretty. It’s not always putting on a fuzzy bathrobe and drinking hot cocoa. When you go through a period of time when you’re struggling, and you’ve been putting off responsibilities at every turn, eventually you reach the point where blowing off said responsibilities is the exact opposite of self-care.

Loving yourself isn’t always pleasant. A huge part of loving yourself is doing things that your future self will thank you for. When it finally gets to be too much, and for the third day in a row you feel like you don’t have the physical strength to get out of bed, I promise you that you can. You can do it, and your future self, even the future self as close as tomorrow, will thank you for getting up, showering and putting on something besides the pajamas you’ve been wearing for a week.

Sometimes loving yourself means you have to force yourself to do the things that you’ve been dreading, or confront the issues that you’ve been too drained to address. The frilly image of self-care that everyone has in their heads is only conducive for a very specific spectrum of situations. But more often than not taking care of yourself means managing to drag yourself out of bed and doing your chores so you have clean clothes to wear and dishes to eat off of. It means making yourself go to the store so you have fresh food in the house to eat, because you know those leftovers are beginning to become questionable.

Self-care is exactly what it sounds like: it’s taking care of yourself. And that means you have to do the things necessary to give yourself a happy, healthy life. Which means yes, sometimes you have to treat yourself to a day where you turn your phone off and watch Netflix all day, but it also means that you need to get up, wash the sheets on your bed, take out the trash, and open the textbook that has been staring at you from your backpack for the last four days, because you have an assignment due tomorrow that you haven’t even looked at yet.

Struggling with stress, mental health issues, and just the overload of responsibilities that life can throw at us in general can be difficult to deal with and extremely overwhelming. And I am not writing this to diminish the fact that sometimes all you really need is a day where you don’t do anything. But you have to keep in the back of your mind that there is a balance to everything that you do and don’t do. Constantly deciding that, “not today” is the right answer will hurt your mental state more in the long-run. There comes a point when you need to make the active decision to do the not-so-fun parts of taking care of yourself. But more often than not, those are the most important parts.

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Let's Give Michigan Winters The Benefit Of The Doubt

As cold as it gets, this is still the best place in the world.
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Anyone who goes to a cold school understands how miserable the winter can be. We’ll do anything and everything to avoid being outdoors; skipping class sounds much more ideal than having to suffer through getting there and back. Every day, I wonder how people did it before Uber because I most definitely couldn't.

When I'm asked why I’d ever go to a school that's so unbearably cold, my response is the same every time: “Because it’s worth it.” Because there’s nowhere else, hot or cold, in the world that I’d rather be. Because even on the coldest, snowiest days, something about being at Michigan makes me happy.

As cold as it gets and as hard as the subzero temperatures make being productive, we all adjust and have our own ways of making it work. A scarf makes any outfit that much more adorable, and speaking of outfits, what’s wrong with rotating between the same few sweatshirts every day when no one sees whats under your Goose? Nothing! And that means waking up about 10 minutes before you have to leave for class. Every cloud has a silver lining!

Most days here, even though they're bitter cold, are nice and sunny, making for such a pleasant environment. If it were dark and gloomy every day, maybe it'd be harder to survive the winter. It’d be harder to leave bed every day, but luckily that’s not the case. It’s definitely cold, but layers are a pretty good solution.

You know how they say you can’t have a rainbow without rain? I’d argue the same about having seasons. The bitterly cold winter makes the summer that much more special. I, for one, will not be taking a second of this summer for granted. When I’m not working, I will be outside for some reason or another taking it all in. Yearlong heat definitely has its pros, but there is something amazing to be said about changing seasons.

Anyone would agree that it'd be nice if winter were just a little warmer. You know, not so cold that you walk outside and lose feeling in your extremities, but also cold enough for a cute sweater, scarf, hat, jacket and boots.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't change a thing about where I am, but I also can’t deny being really sick of the cold and more than ready for some summer.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Don't Use Valentine's Day As An Excuse to Show Your Love

It was just another day, but a slightly better, slightly happier day.
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Valentine's Day has come and gone. That day was filled with love, affection, and care. You wake up in the morning with excitement for the day and show those special people in your life that you care. It was just another day, but a slightly better, slightly happier day because you can literally see the love in the air.

There are three positions on Valentine's Day: those people who have a valentine and therefore, they have the whole day planned out. The other extreme is those who yearn for a valentine and therefore, are bitter and cynical about this day. The third lot is rare because they are the ones that are completely neutral about Valentine's Day and they don't mind it.

It is most logical to be in the third lot. Valentine's Day is like Mother's Day. It is a day that's focus is to show your appreciation of people in your life that you love. Same for Mother's Day. It is a day that focuses on showing appreciation for your mother, but the important thing to remember is that this day is not an excuse. It is merely a day that tells you what you should be doing to show your love. That doesn't mean that you are very public in your celebration of those you love because sometimes, celebrating your significant other doesn't need to be a bouquet of flowers and serenading, maybe it is just a simple homecooked meal.

This day emphasizes on making those special people in your life feel special. It is a celebration of caring and love and there is nothing wrong with this. It doesn't need to be about romantic love, it extends to all loves like platonic and familiar.

This day shouldn't be a grand day because if it is the only day you go all out for your special people, you aren't doing it correctly. This is a day to go all out, yes, but so are other normal days.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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