The Benefits Of Self-Care (And How To Do It)

The Benefits Of Self-Care (And How To Do It)

No one knows you better than yourself, so find what makes you feel good and add a little more of it to your life.
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In a world where we are preoccupied with the thoughts and actions of others, it’s alarmingly easy to forget about yourself. We admire those who work all day on a few hours of sleep or those who get by on a granola bar and six cups of coffee. We move like robots through our responsibilities morning to night and we forget we also have responsibilities to our mind and body. We burn out and feel stagnant, tired and sad. We have lower levels of energy and we eat and sleep poorly. It can become a vicious cycle, but it’s easier than you think to break free. All you need is a little self-care.

Acts of self-care are any acts you make intentionally to better your mental, physical or emotional health. Good self-care can be a challenge for many people; think of the millions of excuses you give yourself daily why you can’t indulge in a little something for yourself. You’re too tired, there’s no time, you don’t have money, it’s too much work and so on and so forth. Sometimes when you’re stressed, it’s hard to notice how your experience is affected by how your most basic needs are being met.

However, it is an important part of living a healthy life and is unique to everyone. While it sounds overwhelming, like you may need to overhaul your entire life, it’s easy to start with a few simple acts and see the amazing results it has on your life and health.

Physical Self-Care

Physical care is often the most neglected. However, it’s easy as drinking a glass of water! Acts of physical care will rejuvenate your body and keep you energized for the day, and include activities like:

  • Go for a walk
  • Eat a healthy snack
  • Exercise for 30 minutes
  • Eat something for all three meals of the day
  • Drink a glass of water—remember you need eight a day.
  • Take a shower or bath
  • Take a nap
  • Get seven and a half to nine hours of sleep a night
  • Indulge in your favorite treat
  • Seek care when you are sick
  • Dance like no one is watching

Emotional Self-Care

Emotional care is more subjective. It can mean many different things to different people, but can include:

  • Seek professional counseling if you need it
  • Keep a journal or diary
  • Open up to a friend, parent or loved one
  • Meditation
  • Spend time with your pet
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Make spending time with family and friends a priority
  • Avoid people who use you, make you feel unhappy, sad or don’t ever listen to you
  • Engage in meaningful conversation
  • Spend time away from social media when you feel overwhelmed

Mental Self-Care

Mental care is another critical piece of your holistic health. It will keep you from suffering from anxiety, depression and improve immune function of your body. Acts of mental self-care include:

  • Doing puzzles, crossword, Sudoku and other brain games
  • Painting, drawing, coloring or other creative activities
  • Listening to music
  • Singing along to your favorite song
  • Observing nature
  • Reading, especially your favorite book
  • Knitting, woodwork, beading and other crafts
  • Cooking and baking
  • Watch your favorite movie or TV show
  • Watch a documentary
  • Play an instrument

These are suggestions of things to do, but anything you do that makes you feel healthier is self-care. While we can’t stop and do all of this at once, even the busiest people can squeeze a few of these activities into their daily lives. No one knows you better than yourself, so find what makes you feel good and add a little more of it to your life. You deserve it!

Cover Image Credit: Bestie.Vn

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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How To Avoid Getting Sick Your  Freshman Year

It's going to take a little more than an apple a day.

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College is the prime time and place to catch a cold... or worse. Although, somehow I managed to crack the code to health and not get sick my whole first year of college. This is surprising considering I was living in the close (and very unsanitary) quarters of a dorm room.

1. Keep your diet somewhat healthy

https://picjumbo.com/healthy-fruits-and-vegetables/

I know how hard it is to eat healthy in college, especially on a low budget. But with the dining hall foods, you can at least include some vegetables and fruits into your everyday consumption. The vitamins in these foods will help keep your immune system up and it will be worth the effort.

2. Try to exercise a few times per week

https://picjumbo.com/fitness-girl-jogging-morning-run/

Even if you're just getting out of the dorm for a thirty minute walk, it will benefit your body. If you decide to up your routine from that, even better! The more endorphins, the more you will feel better inside and out.

3. Cut back on the drinking if you feel a cold coming on

https://pixabay.com/photos/glasses-toasting-cheers-alcohol-919071/

Surprisingly, many college students don't seem to know that alcohol lowers your immune system. Of course, for some people theres no way of avoiding drinking. But if you can at least give your body rest days, it will be extremely beneficial.

4. Invest in a dehumidifier for your dorm room

https://icdn2.digitaltrends.com/image/dehumidifier_hero_1-2-720x720.jpg

I believe this was a very big player in helping me not get sick. The dehumidifier helps reduce dust and other particles in the air. This will help not agitate your allergies and you will feel more clear headed.

5. Try not to share personal products

https://picjumbo.com/makeup-brushes/

Sharing things like towels, makeup, unwashed cups, etc. can all be causes of a sickness being passed around you and your friends. Of course sharing is caring, just make sure it's sanitary.

6. Be conscientious of who you kiss!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/love-people-kissing-romance-18397/

Make sure that your girlfriend, boyfriend, or "its complicated" person is not sick before you're getting cozy with them.

7. Drink lots of green tea!

https://libreshot.com/green-tea/

Personally, I credit green tea and its anti-oxidants for keeping the flu away and even getting rid of bugs that might be forming in your system. So if you feel like you might be developing a cold, chug that tea!

I know how annoying these tips may be. But I promise, if you implement at least a few it could reduce your chances of feeling horrible during midterms in the winter, and sneezing all over your finals in the fall.

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