Self-care is prioritizing yourself and putting your health first. With so much going on in the world, self-care is more important now than ever. Self-care and mental health go hand in hand and contribute to your overall daily mood. There are so many forms of self-care and different ways work for different people.
“Self-care is important because they help us become grounded. When we start our day from a grounded place it’s easier to breathe and relax when we face curveballs,” said Dr. Paul deal co-chair of counseling and human services at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Having a self-care routine is shown to reduce anxiety, stress, increase happiness and energy. Incorporating small self-care activities into your everyday routine can even improve your overall physical health. Everyone should have an outlet or something that boosts their mood. Here are some of the different ways people engage in self-care.
Meditation is an extremely popular form of self-care. Meditation works to achieve a clear mental state. It allows you to take a breath and calm down any noises in your head. Many people meditate first thing in the morning to start their day off on a peaceful note. You can meditate for an hour or five minutes, either way, it puts your mind and body at ease.
“Be curious about yourself. Ask yourself what helps you relax. Take a step back and figure out what helps ground yourself,” said Deal.“ I often encourage students to consider breathing exercises and different forms of meditation. Sometimes you have to give the mind something to chew on.”
Music and Videos
One form of self-care is watching videos. Sometimes it feels good to lie down and watch your favorite video or even listen to your favorite artist. Music is said to be therapeutic and even mood-changing. You can watch your favorite Youtuber or Tik Toker right in the comfort of your own bed and relax.
“Self-care is very important to me. When I’m feeling stressed, I like to watch videos. I watch vlogs and girl talks mostly. I also like to listen to music. I love listening to Summer Walker when I want to feel better,” said freshman Aicha Tounkara.
Food is one of the best stress relievers. Sometimes your favorite sweet snack can lift your mood. Grabbing a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a bag of your favorite chips can change your day. Food is in many ways comforting and brings people to a pleasant place. There are even specific foods that scientifically boost moods and energy.
“When I’m stressed, I need to take a break from whatever is stressing me out,” said senior Sarah Mathurin. “ My favorite stress reliever is ice cream.”
Another form of self-care is pampering. People like to get pampered in different ways, some people like manicures, pedicures, getting their hair done, or even a massage. Pampering is also a cheap way to take care of yourself. You can take an at-home bubble bath or facial. Taking care of your body is a sure way to feel better. When you look better, you feel better.
“Self-care to me is taking the time to relax and do things for me,” said senior Ruby Avila. “ For self-care, I like to get my nails done. Getting my nails done gives me time to relax and also feel good about myself.
Many people exercise to feel good. Yoga is a very common practice that involves stretches and poses that promote mental and physical well-being. Some people like to go to the gym and work out around people. Others like to do solo home workouts to get their mind and body right. Exercise is great because there’s no one right way to do it. You can mold your exercises to fit you and your needs.
“When I’m stressed out, I like to go to the gym,” said senior Daniella Raymond. “ Getting in a good workout while listening to music makes me feel energized. After the gym, I feel like I can do anything.”
Self-care comes in so many forms. What works for you might not work for somebody else, and that’s okay. As long as you’re putting your mental, physical and emotional well-being first, you’re doing great.