Life waits for no one, nor does time. Most of us spend our lives working, providing, and never making time for ourselves.
As life goes on competing priorities begin to vie for our time. From starting a family to competing in your career--it's important to establish a strong foundation of healthy habits. This is why I’m glad to see self-care being prioritized. As a college student, it's easy to get wrapped up in school, jobs, friends, and everything in between. It is important to start setting aside time for self-care because this is gonna be your life. Period.
People in marginalized communities are often juggling constant pressures that require us to show up in many different ways. In order to do so, we must first show up for ourselves. Self-Care for a marginalized person is an act of revolution. It's a statement of reclaiming time, peace, and freedom. By cultivating the ongoing relationship with yourself through these simple daily habits, you can start to build a better relationship with yourself which will affect your friends, family, and ultimately your community.
Self-care varies from person to person, but there are a few activities that I recommend everybody engages in. I am in no way a “self-care” professional but these are some simple things I’ve incorporated into my day that help me stay grounded amid the craziness of the world.
Establishing a routine!
Without a routine, your days can seem very unproductive. Now more than ever, living in a climate where everything is virtual, it’s important that our lives are more visibly structured. A simple way to establish this habit is to make your bed every morning! When you wake up in the morning this small task can be your first accomplishment of the day, plus it makes your room look put together and neat! Plan out all that you have to do that day, and make sure you save time to relax. Some days it’s necessary to grind till you go to sleep, but not every day. So a full night's rest is very important as well.
Get your blood flowing!
Personal care is SELF CARE. Exercise not only helps you look great, but it pumps more oxygen to the brain, this can improve your appetite, sleep pattern, and boosts your serotonin levels (mood booster) which are all part of caring for yourself.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Science has also provided some evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress” (adaa.org).
Physical activity is refreshing and you feel good about yourself once you’ve completed it. Great for the mind, body, and soul! I know working out sounds like a chore, but I find that it is a metaphor for life: It may be hard, but you can get through it, and in the end, you will definitely feel accomplished.
Write it Out!
I believe writing in a journal is the most important form of self-care as it maintains your mental health. Journaling is great if you’re looking to calm yourself down. It literally keeps me from going crazy. Personally, my journal is mostly filled with negative experiences but that's okay. That’s when I get the most use out of it and I never feel as angry or upset when I’m finished. Writing can help when you feel like you have to just let it out. It’s a wonderful outlet. If this seems like a time-consuming task start by just writing down one thing you’re grateful for in the morning then revisit it before bed and try to reflect.
All in all, self- care comes in many forms, from drinking water and getting some sun, to having a wine night with your friends. Whatever makes you happy, self-care starts with SELF!