Welcome to Self Care Stories, a blog series showcasing how different people take care of themselves around the world. In our lives, we often forget to prioritize our own well-being. We hope that by reading these stories, you feel inspired to build your own self-care routines because your own care is important.
What's your background?
I am a 21-year-old student who grew up in Ohio and now lives in Columbus. I love exploring, writing, reading, learning, and enjoying life.
What's your definition of self-care or what does self-care mean to you?
For me, self-care is managing my emotions and being aware of what I am feeling and thinking. Self-care is tied to my mental health. Good self-care should mean good mental health. Poor mental health, like when I am in a depressive episode, can lead to poor self-care. When I slack on things like basic hygiene and avoid cleaning and other chores, I’m also practicing poor self-care. Self-care is more than just face masks and treating myself (the latter of which I do a lot of) but also removing myself from toxic and harmful situations, like unfriending people and unsubscribing from email lists to avoid shopping too much. Self-care is a process and it's continuous. It's something you should try to do all the time.
Tell me your story. How do you practice self-care in your life?
I practice self-care in many ways such as using face masks and just doing things I enjoy. I make sure to hang out with friends at least a few times a week so we can do fun things together and our health benefits from that. I try to eat healthier and joined a fitness class this semester so that's helped me get some exercise in; my friend is in the class with me which helps us both stay active and catch up! Self-care can be easier and more fun with friends. Some things I do individually include keeping a "mental health journal" where I log my highs and lows for the day and what's upset me. At school, I see a therapist and that's also been helpful; I get to vent my concerns and let out my emotions. I visit my favorite professors and talk to them. Having supportive people in my circle overall helps me practice self-care.
What makes taking care of yourself so important to you?
Taking care of myself is so important to me because I know it will have positive impacts on other areas of my life: physical, financial, emotional, and social. I'll be in a better mood and that'll help me do well in my life.
If you had advice to give someone else on practicing self-care, what would it be?
It's hard to do self-care but not impossible! Find things you enjoy. I look at motivational and wholesome memes and videos. I watch Disney movies. I also light a nice candle to help me with my mood. Research, write down ways to do self-care and look at these when you struggle. Ask friends and other people how they practice self-care, and they can offer suggestions for you! If anything, try to do things like swishing your mouth with mouthwash when it's difficult to get up to brush your teeth. Scheduling time into your calendar for self-care can be effective too, like blocking out an hour a day, or a whole evening on a weekend to devote to yourself. Self-care is something I still struggle with and am learning to manage and one day, master.
This series was created in collaboration with Self Caid. To find out more information on how to build a self-care routine, check out them out here.