The world is a scary place right now. With COVID-19 cases soaring across the country and stay-at-home orders heavily increasing, it’s totally normal to feel anxious, confused, and depressed. I’m currently on winter break, and as a way to destress from school and take my mind off the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been practicing lots of self care.
I’m a firm believer that practicing self-care regularly is beneficial for our mental health. Without regular self-care, it’s much easier for us as humans to succumb to anxiety, depression, and stress. Whether it be taking a walk, writing in a journal, or just eating some ice cream, practicing even the smallest bit of self care can have serious benefits to your mental health and overall happiness.
When you’re away at college and caught up with school work, jobs, internships, etc., it’s easy to forget to set aside time to practice self-care. I know for me, I often feel like I have to get all of my work done before I can allow myself to relax and enjoy the things that make me happy. I’ve learned that some days, I may not be able to squeeze in some of that beloved “me time,” and that’s okay! I normally try to pick out one night each week where I won’t do anything school or work related, and just enjoy myself.
Can’t decide what self-care activities are right for you? I’ve got you covered. Below, I’ve rated some of the top self-care activities on a scale of 1-5 to help you narrow down what activity is best for you.
Giving Yourself a Manicure→ ★★★
Before the pandemic, one of my favorite types of self-care was going to the nail salon for a manicure. Now that personal care salons are closed, I’ve been trying to give myself manicures at home. If you’re a perfectionist like me, giving yourself a mani may not be the best form of self-care. I get so aggravated when I get the polish all over my fingers and when the coats of paint look thick and sloppy.
Take a Bath→ ★★★★★
My all-time favorite form of self care is taking a relaxing bath. Light a candle, play some chill music, enhance your experience with a bath bomb or bubbles, and prepare for ultimate relaxation. If I could give this one more than 5 stars, I would.
Whether you decide to go for a bike ride or complete an intense HIIT workout, exercising is a great way to take your mind off of your work and completely de-stress. Not only does exercise get your body moving, but it’s also proven to improve your mood and promote better sleep!
Creating a Vision Board→ ★★★★★
Vision boards are physical boards with pictures and text of your goals and aspirations. They are a fantastic way to express your creative side, and the result is something tangible and meaningful that you get to display. Vision boards serve as a daily reminder of your dreams and goals, and they will always be there to motivate you when you face setbacks. The reason vision boards work so well is because when you look at it each day, you are reminded of your path to success. I highly recommend making one for yourself!
Journaling is one of my favorite forms of self-care because you can write about literally anything you want. It’s not being graded, there are no specific rules or guidelines, it’s all for you and only you! If you can’t think of what you want to write about, you can look up journaling prompts on Pinterest or Google. It’s the perfect way to get your creative juices flowing and truly express yourself. The only reason I don’t give this one 5 stars is because my hand starts cramping about five minutes in! Nevertheless, it’s a great form of self-care.
If you consider yourself a spiritual person, meditating can be a great form of self-care for you. I’ve tried meditating several times, and while it isn’t for me, it definitely has its benefits! Meditating is a mindful way to become more in touch with your physical and emotional well-being.
Pampering Yourself→ ★★★★★
Pampering myself is one of my favorite forms of self-care! There are tons of ways you can pamper yourself, like exfoliating your skin, giving yourself a facial, and so much more. My personal favorites are putting on a moisturizing face mask and applying a conditioning treatment to my hair, but you can do whatever works best for you!
As long as you set aside some in your busy schedule to practice self-care, that’s all that matters. I promise you, you’ll notice a change in your entire well-being as long as you put in the effort.
Written by: Jordan Peterkofsky