Trust me, I get it. Your calendar looks so full that you feel like you’re swimming in work and have no time to do any self-care. No, I don’t mean the kind of self-care where you wash your face every morning. I mean the kind of self-care that makes your soul feel fed, and your mind feel relaxed. Self-care doesn’t have to be time consuming things like taking a bubble bath or binge watching a season of your favorite show.
It can be the little things I do like listening to your favorite album or podcast on your way to school or work, taking 10 minutes to get yourself your go to Starbucks order, or even just ordering your favorite dessert at night when you get home.
I know some of those things can be expensive. Let’s face it, we’re all broke college students, but self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. There’s plenty of free, but fulfilling options, like taking that free time to have a dance party with your roommate to old Disney or 2000’s music, studying outside to get some sunlight and enjoy the nice weather, finding a piece of paper to journal, or wearing that cute outfit you’ve been meaning to wear.
Take the time to do the things that make you happy. I did and I found something I didn’t know I needed, the love and confidence that I wished I had always had for myself. After struggling with genuinely not liking who I was or what I looked like for years, I learned that I never felt happy because I had never done any of those small daily things to start my day off on the right foot or make my heart happy. Once I started doing what I wanted to do instead of what everyone else wanted me to, I became so much happier.
But don’t just blindly take it from me telling you that self-care is important, take it from another Drake student who also found self-love through self-care.
Drake freshman Xmiena Rogers-Stamps lives a busy life as she is the Vice President of Carpenter, Equity and Inclusion Co-Officer for the sorority, Delta Gamma, and works two jobs all while balancing her social life and being a full-time student, but she always takes the time to do what makes her happy. Though life can be busy, Rogers-Stamps said she tries to stretch for at least five minutes when she wakes up and read just a few pages of a book throughout the week. Working out has helped keep her energy positive.
“I believe is not only important but necessary to do little things to make you happy. One of my favorite words is serotonin. Living a live full of abundant happiness is how we are supposed to live. Being happy is not just about feeling good- it also makes us healthier, more productive,” said Rogers-Stamps.
Rogers-Stamps said she does not think that anything she has done is extremely unique, but that she is open minded to trying new things when it comes to self-care. She has tried a wide variety of things when it comes to self-care and making sure she is taking care of her mental health including meditating with crystals, growing, plants, drawing, and skin care.
“My advice to anyone is to first off acknowledge that mental is just as important as physical health. And you shouldn’t put off taking care of yourself. Find time to relax and take a brain break,” Rogers-Stamps said.
Whether that brain break is journaling for just 5 minutes every morning or going for a 10-minute walk around campus, waking up 5 minutes earlier to meditate before class, or even drinking enough water. These things may seem small, but they are small ways to help your day start off better than usual. Experiment and try new things: stretching after you wake up, using crystals, keep a list of things you are grateful for, look in mirror and tell yourself positive affirmations every morning, and be present in the moment.
Make small changes and set realistic goals, but remember that these changes won’t happen overnight. Be patient and give yourself the grace to make mistakes. Surround yourself with people who support you. It’s time to stop having unrealistic expectations that self-care has to be expensive or has to be a skin care routine. It’s time to start having the realization that it’s whatever makes you happy and healthy.