Join Me In Redefining What 'Self-Care' Really Means

Join Me In Redefining What 'Self-Care' Really Means

True self-care is important and should be maintained daily and with purpose in order to be effective. Here are some ways to prioritize and maintain your mental and physical health during your busy life.

During winter break, with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays and family reunion, it is very important to slow down our busy lives and take time for ourselves. Self-care is defined by as “care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.”

However, shouldn’t self-care reach beyond the physical aspects of picking up some over-the-counter drugs, putting on a face mask, going on a shopping spree, or taking a bubble bath? Shouldn’t the effects of self-care last longer than the physical acts of relaxation done on your days off? With a so much emphasis in today’s fast-paced society on reaching one’s “full potential,” it is alarming that the importance of self-care is often brushed under the rug.

True self-care is important and should be maintained daily and with purpose in order to be effective. Here are some ways to prioritize and maintain your mental and physical health during your busy life.

1. Write in a journal.

Take time for yourself to reflect and write about your life. While leading such busy lives, time can seem to go by so fast. Take time to slow down and reflect on your day. This can be as simple as a few sentences. Not everything needs to be shared and documented on social media for everyone to see. Sometimes it is important to sit back and write about your daily happenings without an audience.

2. Be OK with being alone.

Doing things alone allows you time to think and reflect. When constantly surrounded by others, it is so easy to get sucked into the “groupthink” mentality. So take yourself out to dinner, people watch at the local coffee shop, go on a walk, close the door and be OK with just being alone.

3. Set goals and rewards.

Set short and long-term realistic goals and rewards for yourself when you reach them. A big part of self-care is helping yourself reach your full potential and appreciate the work and effort you put in, even if others don't.

4. Cut out toxic people.

You become the company you keep. Putting energy into toxic people will end up hurting you. Choose to spend time with people who build you up, not break you down. You deserve better.

5. Realize when you need a break.

We’ve all been there. Feeling completely worn out; burnt out on our daily lives. This is the time when self-care is the most important. Listen to yourself and trust yourself when you aren’t happy in a situation. Take time to regroup and reassess. Doing something that you aren’t excited or passionate about is not worth the trouble.

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Merry

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9 Ways To Rock The Single Life This Valentine's Day

All the single ladies, put your hands up.

As the month of January winds down, we find ourselves rapidly approaching one of the most controversial and debated holidays on the calendar: Valentine's Day. Every February 14th, elementary school children exchange holographic cards with puppies or kittens on them.

Middle and high schoolers finally work up the nerve to talk to their crushes. Once we reach college and beyond, we can generally be divided into Valentine's Day lovers or Valentine's Day haters. This depends, unsurprisingly, on our relationship status. Couples old and new often use the holiday as an excuse to spoil each other with romantics.

But what about the loners?

The singles steal away into their homes and sulk in a very Grinch-like manner for the day. Typically, a single person dreads the celebration of love because they don't have a significant other to enjoy it with.

But being single isn't a bad thing, and you shouldn't let the fact that you're single make you feel like you have to have a rough day on the 14th.

Here are a few things you can do for your single-pringle self that you will appreciate just as much as (or maybe even more than) a loving boyfriend or girlfriend by your side.

1. Celebrate self-love with some self-care

You are learning to love yourself more and more each day, and that's an accomplishment worth recognizing on the daily, but make it a priority on this 14th! Spend an evening relaxing in front of the TV or curled up in bed with your favorite book. Order in or cook up some of your favorite food as you jam out to your favorite songs.

You can even use this time to pamper yourself with an at-home spa treatment, bubble bath, or hot shower. Reward yourself for doing everything you can to be the best version of yourself.

2. Go on a blind date

You're definitely not the only person who isn't in a committed relationship; you may THINK that you see lovers everywhere you go, but there's always a few stragglers in the mix that feel just like you do. Maybe you can plan a blind date with someone you met on the Internet, or go out to the bar and chat up that cutie sitting alone in the corner.

Even if you never see or hear from the person again, they can occupy your time for the night and distract you from any loneliness you've been feeling.

3. Make plans with some friends

Round up some of your partnerless pals and make a plan to hang out on Valentine's Day. Spending quality time with some of the people you love the most can really lift your spirits. Platonic love, or the love between friends, is often overlooked, but it can be one of the strongest sources of trust and support in your life. If that isn't worth celebrating, then I don't know what is.

4. Don't beat yourself up for being alone

Just because you're not taken doesn't mean that you won't ever be, nor does it mean that you aren't worth anyone's love. I like to believe personally that everything happens for a reason; that being said, take comfort in the idea that you will find your special someone when they are meant to be found. Until then, just try to be patient and let the universe work in its mysterious ways for as long as it has to.

5. Steer clear of your exes

It might be tempting to hit up one of your former flames to see if they would be open to rekindling the spark between you two. The romantic allure of Valentine's Day might be getting to your head, convincing you more and more that you and your ex still have a chance. But it's not a good idea to listen to these thoughts.

That relationship was broken off for a reason, and it isn't wise to try recovering it just because you don't want to be alone.

6. Don't hate other couples simply because they're dating

Total strangers and even some of your friends may be in happy, healthy relationships, and it's perfectly human to long for the kinds of bonds that they have. But what isn't okay is treating people in relationships poorly on Valentine's Day out of jealousy. This can happen without you even realizing it until the words have left your mouth, and you'll regret them almost instantly.

Avoid stirring up the tension by not comparing your situation to anyone else's; they were once single, too, and you won't always be single, either.If you know that your best friend has a candlelit dinner planned for her boyfriend that night, acknowledge that you're happy for her and just move on.

7. Think about all the money you'll save

Valentine's Day can be a rather pricey affair depending on individual preference. Those boxes of imported chocolates and bouquets of hand-cut roses come with pretty hefty price tags, after all. And if you're the type to spoil your loved ones until your wallet is empty, you should be thankful that this is one holiday you don't have to break the bank over.

8. You can go home and sleep without having to get ready later

Little else compares to the feeling you get when you know you can take a well-deserved nap after a hard day of expending energy and drinking coffee just to get through it. While your girlfriends are primping themselves in front of the mirror and while the guys are fussing with their hair, you can fall into bed and snooze for as long as you please.

Not having to worry about looking good for someone else is a huge burden off of anyone's shoulders, so live it up while you can.

9. Three words: Candy. On. Clearance.

Post-Valentine's Day candy sales are some of the best that the stores will ever offer their customers. You can take full advantage of the lower prices and treat yourself to your favorite chocolates and treats at a fraction of the original cost. If you don't enjoy Valentine's Day for any other reason, choose to appreciate all it does to satisfy your sweet tooth.

I hope I inspired all of you single readers to view this Valentine's Day as an opportunity to nurture yourself, your friends, and your family. You don't need to be in a committed romantic relationship to be happy, I promise. Spread the love, my friends.

Cover Image Credit: Brannon Naito

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How to become a more positive person

some of the ways you can brighten up your life.

Learning how to find the positives in your life can be hard sometimes but here are some ways that you can find inspiration:

  1. Write down all of the good parts of your life: This could be as simple as having a roof over your head or just simply being healthy. Start with something small and see where it goes.
  2. Write down what makes YOU happy: Do not focus on what you do to make others happy, write down what makes you happy. It could be your bed, your pet, your computer or even your car.
  3. Rid yourself of the toxic people in your life: If you find that the people in your life constantly bring you down and only make you feel worse about yourself, let them go. You will be better for it. Find people who lift you up and who put a smile on your face.
  4. Find something that you love about yourself: Spend two minutes staring at yourself in a mirror and instead of focusing on the bad parts of yourself, find something about yourself that you love. It could be your smile, your hair, or even your eye color. Do this at least once a day and make sure you walk away feeling good about yourself.
  5. Smile more: Find any reason at all to smile everyday. Smiling will brighten up your day and may be even someone else’s. A smile goes a long way!

These are just some of the ways that you can find the positives of your life. If you find one that speaks to you, go for it! If not, try and think of some ways that may work for you!

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