Self Care Favs

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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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Being Ugly

What it means to me

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Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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