Investing in self care may seem like an impossible task during the semester, but implementing self care into your daily routine is a vital way to stay grounded during the busy school year. Since it’s midterms week, stress levels are high and schedules are flooded, so a sense of stability is extra important right now.
Self care isn’t the same for everyone, so finding a self care routine that works for you is best centered around what personally feels good. Self care doesn’t have to be a set routine either, there are small practices you can work into your day to take care of yourself.
Establishing a morning routine is a great way to set the tone for your day, and you don’t need a lot of time for one either! If it’s possible, take it slow in the morning since feeling relaxed and unhurried when leaving the house is great, especially when you have an 8 am, there isn’t always room for that. Even simple decisions in the morning, like beverage choices, can create a feeling of routine. Take your pick of beverage: a hot cup of coffee to feel cozy and energized, or a glass of lemon water to feel refreshed. You can also even make a nourishing breakfast, or read a few pages of a book. Doing your favorite things at the beginning of the day, even if it’s just for a few minutes, will allow you to feel happy when moving on to the rest of the day’s tasks.
Something I’ve been doing recently is jotting down three things I’m grateful for each morning. It may sound like a cheesy activity, but during times of stress, practicing gratitude really reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing. It only takes about thirty seconds to remind yourself of your motivators in life. Following journaling prompts in the morning is another great self care practice. Anything that allows you to sit with yourself and think about the day ahead is an excellent way to start your daily self care.
If setting time aside to practice a specific self care routine sounds more your speed, then you can choose a time in your day to make time for intentionally practicing happiness and relaxation. Think about what brings you joy and energy, and add that into your daily self care routine. It doesn’t have to be every day too, even dedicating one day a week to yourself can improve mental health significantly. If self care means temporarily forgetting everything on your to-do list for a moment, then do so. Meditation, or emerging yourself into another world with a book or TV show is a great way to do this. Everyone has their own definition of self care, whether it’s self-improvement, relaxation, or doing what you love, so mastering a set self care routine can take some trial and error. Luckily, if you need inspiration, there are plenty of places to look.
Some places I look for self care inspiration are on Pinterest, or from my favorite wellness influencers. A simple “self care” search on Pinterest can result in tons of ideas, like journal prompts for self care, DIY self care routines, and written out bedtime rituals. There are plenty of Pinterest self care boards, full of images of nourishing food, foamy bubble baths, and luxurious skin care products. Something I love to search on Pinterest is affirmations. Making a board of your favorite self love affirmations to quickly scroll through can help get you through the day, especially if feeling down and defeated.
Influencers I’ve been looking to for self care inspiration are Hitomi Mochizuki (@yaknowmehitomi) and @shesplantbased. Both women write long, insightful captions that provide a similar effect to affirmations. Reading what others write on self love and life motivates me to work towards loving my own life and self. If I have some free time to dedicate to self care, but I’m unsure of how to spend it, I’ll look at an account I admire and pick out a recipe or yoga routine featured on their feed. Sometimes it can take too much energy to pick a self care activity, so look at your favorite feeds for some inspiration!
Peacefully ending the night is as important as starting the day off right, be sure to practice self care before bedtime too. Unwind, reflect on your day, and organize your tasks for the day to come. Practice mindfulness and make sure to go to sleep with a clear head. A clear mind will allow sleep to come easier, and getting a good night’s sleep is super important to one’s overall well-being. It can be as simple as sitting in silence for a few minutes with a hot cup of tea, or as intricate as spending an hour on meditation and skincare.
Remember, self care isn’t a one size fits all, being aware of what brings you peace and growth can take some practice. Try out a bunch of different activities and do what feels right for you. But no matter what it may be, always be sure to set some time aside for yourself throughout the day or week. Pursuing self care will positively impact every other aspect of your life and allows you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.