12 Self-Care Favs for the Days you just can't hang

12 Self-Care Favs for the Days you just can't hang

You're doing amazing sweetie!

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There are a wild amount of misconceptions about self-care: that it's simply painting your nails while having a cry session, that it's exclusively for women, and that it's only necessary for individuals who struggle with mental health. This, in my opinion, greatly derives from the overall stigma against mental health in our modern society. As the conversation surrounding mental health has begun, I think it's equally as important to start a conversation about how one can (and should) deal with bad days, whether you're struggling with mental health or not. Think of it as hygiene: you wouldn't walk out of the house without brushing your teeth (I hope), so why would you without preparing your mind and soul, too?

1. Get Clean

Take a bath, wash your hair, have a shaving party. Feeling good physically is the first step to feeling good overall.

2. Skin Routine

This goes with getting clean - make your skin feel good, too. Do whatever your routine may be. If you don't have one, here's a simple one: wash, exfoliate, moisturize, and try not to touch your face a lot afterwards. Do one of those face masks, too - those ones that makes you look like a ghost are hilarious.

3. Make some yummy (and healthy) food

Not only is cooking a great activity to distract your mind, but who doesn't love food, right? Make your favorite meal or snack, something warm and comfort-y, but also something that won't make your stomach hate you. My personal favs: soup or stir fry, a biiiig salad, anything with avocado, smoothies.

4. Warm, yummy drinks:

Think coffee, tea with honey, hot chocolate, stuff like that.

5. Cold, refreshing drinks:

Chug water. Easiest thing to do when you're not feeling good. And after you've hydrated, have some juice or something. If you're a wine mom (like me), treat yourself to one nice glass.

6. Put on something comfy

But not something that'll tempt you to crawl in your bed and hide from the world - i.e., not PJs, but leggings, soft pants, or even undies.

7. Do something productive

Organize something. Clean out a room or even just a drawer. Do that thing that you've been wanting to get done - something you've put off because it's not your top priority.

8. Do something creative!!

Read, write, draw, paint, sing, play your instrument, dance, code, cook, do makeup, design - do something that makes your soul happy.

9. Work out - but not too hard.

If you're having trouble motivating, incentivize yourself. Make a plan for the day, map out exactly when to work out, exactly what you're gonna do, and exactly how you're gonna treat yourself afterwards. If you're not a fan of the fishbowl that is the local gym, go play your favorite sport - shoot some hoops, pass the volleyball around, kick the soccer ball, whatever it may be. Also, yoga is awesome for re-centering. Light some candles, turn on some low music, and stretch it out.

10. Watch something that makes you happy

Whether it's a show or a movie or maybe some old vines, watch something that'll make you laugh- but not too much. Don't let yourself get sucked into the void and waste your day.

11. Sleep

Go to sleep early and sleep in, but not for too long. Also, perfect nap length is about 20 minutes. If you need to be productive but you're tired as hell, chug some coffee, take a 20 minute power-nap, and by the time you wake up the coffee will have kicked in.

12. Let yourself feel whatever it is that you're feeling

This is probably the most important one. If you don't acknowledge a) the fact that you're down, or b) whatever it may be that's getting you down, it is so so so much harder to bring yourself back up. Feel what you're feeling and try to pinpoint what's causing it. It's okay if you can't - you don't need a reason for feeling down. Cry it out, too. Honestly, you'll feel so much better afterwards. Remember, vulnerability isn't weakness.

Obviously, this isn't a science and isn't a sure-fire way to make yourself feel all the way better, especially if what you're dealing with is more than just a bad day. If that's the case, remember that getting help is not a bad thing, as scary as it might seem. Therapy is nothing to be ashamed of, and while it may be difficult to find a therapist who works for you, it is completely worth it. We surround ourselves with professionals in every aspect of our life - doctors, financial advisors, educators - so why not do the same with your mental health? Take the measures that you need to maintain a balanced, healthy, and happy life. And remember, bad days are normal, and even more than that, they are necessary to really appreciate the good ones. You're doing great, sweetie. :)

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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If You Need A Pep Talk, Remind Yourself Of These 9 Things Today

We all need a pep talk sometimes.

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My spirit animal for stress is honestly any character that just screams when they are freaking out, what a mood. College can have you feeling helpless but remember these and maybe you won't feel so bad.

1. At least you aren’t on TV

Think about it. Many TV characters royally screw up their lives continuously and I know when I watch, I am always cringing. Most of the time, I even have better solutions for that character and it makes me feel level-headed.

2. Even in sweats, you’re still best dressed

Some of the celebrities wear these crazy outfits that are not flattering or cute whatsoever. Wear your sweats and bare face with confidence, cause I would rather be dressed down than dressed in a giant meat suit. Love you though, Gaga.

3. If you’re forgetting things, it’s OK!

WE WERE ON A BREAK. Ross says it best, we had a month off of school, it’s only natural that we forget some of the stuff we learned last semester. All you can do now is review and try your best.

4. Your dog will always love you

No matter what happens, your dog will always be so excited to see you when you come home.

5. You’ll get your degree

It may seem nearly impossible now, but you can do it. Some of the best things in life take time and patience, with a little hard work added in.

6. Leslie Knope 

If you’re ever feeling bad just watch the first episode where Leslie falls into the pit and remember that at least you didn’t have to do that.

7. Your bed

After a long, hard day, your bed will always welcome you back with warm open arms. Once you climb in, all of your troubles go away.

8. Keep it neutral

Anytime my mind tells me “this is terrible and I don't know how things could get better," I always tell myself, yes, things could be better, but they could also be so much worse.

9. God has your back 

Through every situation, trial, and tribulation, God is always there silently watching his plan unfold. He gives his strongest warriors the scariest battles, for He knows they will conquer.

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