Self-care is important to always do, even if it is in small ways. I have been able to overcome stressful situations and terrible times just by practicing self-care strategies and routines. But it's hard to have routines if you're a busy person, or if something comes up because life happens. So here are a few things you can do to help promote self-care if you're on the go and things to have with you, whether it be on your person or just in your room to help with self-care. It goes a long way if you make sure that you keep yourself happy and healthy in both body and mind.
1. A chapstick that you love
Personally, I'm a Burts Bee's person, but whatever chapstick feels good to put on, always have it nearby. Chapstick is an easy way to help your lips feel good. Having non-chapped and soft feeling lips always helps me feel better about myself and I feel that it helps my outwards appearance towards others.
2. A person you can trust
This can be anyone you want it to be. A best friend, boyfriend, parent, roommate, literally anyone that you can go to when you're feeling down or when you have a problem. For me, this is usually my boyfriend, my best friend or my mom, all people who I know will listen if I have a problem or if I'm feeling down. Most of the time, just talking without thinking is a good release for built up emotion and any pent-up energy inside.
3. A good lotion and body wash
Feeling clean is ALWAYS a good start for self-care. Even if you're not due for a shower, take one anyways. Get your most expensive or your favorite body wash and hop in a warm shower. Just five or six minutes in the shower can ease body tension and stress. Plus with your favorite body wash, you can ease into relaxation with feeling clean and smelling good. Then afterwords if you also have a favorite lotion, put that on as well. I have been able to help myself feel relaxed by just putting on lotion. And don't just put it on exposed areas, put it on every inch of skin. You'll want to feel completely moisturized and soft for the full self-care to sink in.
4. Putting on clean clothes.
Many people don't think to put clean clothes on when they're not in the best mood. We just grab what's closest or what's comfortable and don't think about whether it's clean or not. Similar to getting into clean sheets (which I also recommend for self-care), clean clothes are a necessity to make sure that self-care goes all the way. Get into clean clothes all the way down to your socks and underwear. Settling in dirty clothes or already worn clothes will easily defeat the purpose of taking that nice shower. Having a clean body and clean clothes helps with having a clean and relaxed mind.
5. A favorite candle, wax melt, essential oil, or scent
Once you've gotten into your clean clothes with your clean body, let's have a good smelling room. My favorite thing to help me relax in my dorm room specifically is an essential oil diffuser, or otherwise, I'd use a candle. Unless you've used both a scented body wash and a scented lotion, having your room be filled in your favorite scent is one of the most relaxing things. It provides a sense of comfort and stability that you can sink into.
6. Having comfy stuff like blanket, pillow, chair, etc.
After turning on your diffuser, lighting a candle, or melting some scented wax, it is now time to get into your comfy spot. This can be the mound of pillows and blankets on your bed that you can sink into, a bean bag chair, or maybe it's your desk chair with a blanket around your shoulders. Either way, find the spot where you can be comfortable to maximize relaxation.
Music is one of the universal ways that I've seen that can help people when they're feeling down. Hop on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, or your favorite radio station and let the music drown out whatever is making noise in your mind. Being able to drown out all the extra noise and whatever is bugging me by listening to music has always helped me relax.
8. An activity you enjoy
Now you're in your comfy spot, you've listened to your music or are still listening to your music, now it's time to enjoy yourself. This can be different for each person, but start something you enjoy doing. For some, it may be a movie, a book, or even taking a nap. But doing something that you enjoy and makes you happy it is crucial to self-care.
9. Spot or area that’s private (as much as it can get)
If you're a college student like I am, it can be a little hard to find a private space, but all it can take is a pair of earbuds or maybe the dark space under your bed. Finding a spot where you can release bottled up emotion is needed for self-care. Keeping emotions bottled up for too long can be detrimental to your health. So every so often the release of emotion, whether it is messy or not, is important.
10. Meditation website or guide
There are times where I cannot use any of the methods listed above whether it's an issue of time, situation, or just how bad of a day that I am having. So when this happens, I take a couple of minutes and go on MindfulPause.org and force myself to take some time and meditate. It is good to have a site or a routine that you can do for five minutes that can calm the brain and cause relaxation. Take a weekend and explore meditation sites that you can use when you are having a bad day. Believe me, it will go a long way.