What Self Care Really Means

What Self Care Really Means

It's not selfish, it's necessary.
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Self-care is a lot more than just taking a bubble bath and putting on your favorite playlist. There are a lot of different factors that go into caring for yourself and it can be hard to remember all of them if you tend to be a busy person. Ultimately, you are your longest relationship, and you should and need to take the time and effort to care for your mind, body and spirit.

There are a lot of ways to care for yourself, and it’s up to you to decide what works for you and how you want to go about doing so. In general, I believe self-care requires being in touch with yourself. Knowing your limits, knowing what you do and don’t like, and simply being aware of you. It’s doing the things that make you feel good and happy and whole, and lessening doing or being around things that don’t.

Take time to dedicate to yourself in whatever way that may be - a spa trip, a nap, yoga, a mani-pedi, anything that you enjoy. Take the time and make the effort to love yourself. Embrace your flaws and everything wonderful about you. Spend time with people you love and who love you. Meditate or pray - whatever brings peace to your mind. Write out the thoughts and emotions that clutter your mind. It’s amazing how freeing that can be. Stress can be harmful to the body and mind -- and part of self-care is to take care of your mental health. Taking time for yourself can greatly relieve such stress.

You only get one body, so treat it well! Drink water, get enough sleep, use that bath bomb you’ve been dying to use, eat your fruits and veggies, go outside and be active. Taking care of yourself physically can also be rewarding mentally.

When I list ways to provide self-care, it can sound fairly easy. The hard part is actually doing it. There will be days where you lack in the area of self-care, and that’s okay. Just remember to love and respect yourself enough to get back on track. When our lives get busy, it’s easy to put ourselves as the last priority, but it’s not worth it when you let that become a habit and end up compromising so much of yourself.

Schedule in time for you and the things that bring light to your life. Listen to yourself and what your mind and body may tell you. Listen, then act. Determine what’s important to you and what you need to do in order to keep a balanced heart and mind. Caring for yourself is not selfish, it’s necessary.

“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival."

Cover Image Credit: Self Love Beauty

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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.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Engaging In Self-Care Has Changed My Life

Self-care embodies more than the occasional face mask.

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There once was a time in my life when I believed in perfection. Whether it involved my grades, my personal friendships and relationships, or simply the way I was choosing to present myself to the world, I strove to maintain a certain sense of flawlessness in all aspects of my life. That was, of course, before I came to realize that these notions of perfection are unattainable. As life tends to move rapidly before our eyes, we often tend not to focus greatly on the changes occurring until we designate the time to reflect on them. Within these moments of reflection, it is natural to think that one may feel overwhelmed. Yet, the true resolution to overcoming this feeling lies within the ways that we choose to approach it.

After completing almost two years of college, I have come to realize that my personal experiences throughout this time period have played a significant role in shaping me into the person I am today. I remain grateful, as they have consisted mostly of moments of happiness and growth - though that is not to say that I have not faced hardships. In days of old when I was forced face to face with intense stress, there had been times when I simply did not know how to cope. Instead of acknowledging my sources of struggle, I would choose to be counterproductive and continue to push myself to my limits. It was not until my sophomore year that I realized I needed to make a change.

Over the past few months, I am proud to say that I have begun engaging in more self-care.

More often than not, the first thought that comes to mind when a college girl says "self-care" is an expensive face mask and a bottle of wine. Though I am in favor of both, my journey has helped me to understand that self-care embodies so much more than what is perceived. In essence, I now understand that it is acceptable to spend a day in bed if necessary - to decline an invitation for a night out and catch up on school work. It is acceptable to spend an hour at the gym to feel your best, or to indulge in cravings in moderation. It is acceptable to remove toxicity from your life, and it is acceptable to be forgiving of those who have hurt you so that you may heal. Most importantly, it is unapologetically acceptable to do whatever you believe will make you happy.

By adapting my behavior to acknowledge and fulfill these deeper standards of self-care, I say with ease that it has changed my life for the better. My disposition is softer and my heart is lighter - both things I may never have come to change if I had not decided to take better care of myself.

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