When you think of self-care, you probably think of all those posts on Instagram and Pinterest of a girl sitting in a bathtub reading a book. And while that's great sometimes, that's not exactly self-care. Self-care is more than that.


First off, self-care is taking care of your mental health. If you were up late last night studying for a test, it's OK to say no to going out with friends the next day. Sometimes, it's more important to take care of yourself instead of trying to do it all. I know, I get FOMO too. But, we have to understand that taking care of ourselves should be our first priority. You never want to overdo it. This is probably the most important thing to remember, that it is 100% okay to say no.


Another thing that is a big part of self-care is letting it all out. Whether that be journaling or just venting to a friend, it's important to never keep all your emotions bottled up. As far as journaling goes, there's no right way to do it. Just spill all your emotions onto paper and you'll feel a lot better, trust me. If something is bothering you, write it down or tell a friend what's going on. If you keep to yourself, everything will eventually become too much that you just lose it.


Remember to stay positive. Tell yourself positive affirmations each day. Telling yourself things as simple as "I am beautiful" or "I got this" can really be a great reminder. Look up positivity quotes and read a few, listen to an uplifting song, or read a chapter of a book that makes you feel good. All of these things are small ways that can help your mental health.


Surround yourself with people that make you feel good. If you're around people who bring you down, that's not going to help you in any way. Spend time with people that are good for your mental health. But, also remember to take time alone.


It's important to always be mindful of yourself. Self-care is important, and taking care of your mental health is the most important aspect of it. While face masks and bubble baths can be fun and relaxing, always make sure you take time to check up on your mental health as well. That's what self-care TRULY is.