Written by: Bethiah Getenet Negussie
The concept of self-care was not one of the most important things in my life before coming to university. Now that I think about it, it might have been because life was so easy for me back then. I had everything provided for me, I was in the comfort of my own home, and in an environment which I was familiar with my whole life. Right after finishing the first term of university and going through many ups and downs within the first few months, I decided I needed to give myself a break and help my mind reset before taking on another semester. I started to do lots of research on tips for self-care and found a lot of useful things.
These are some of the tips I have adopted throughout the years and the ones which work for me.
- Meditate: This tip is the most obvious and the most mentioned one when referring to self-care. However, it does really work and after all, there must be a reason why people talk about it so much! Try and take 3 minutes or more right after waking up, before giving into your habit of checking social media, to sit up straight, just sit in silence, keep your mind empty and keep it from wandering. This is guaranteed to make your day a lot better.
- Music: I would say this is the most important one for me, hand down! The type of music you listen to does not have to be the therapeutic kind or the ones for focus or mediation. Of course, these are great, but I find it is best to listen to whatever type of song that reflects your feeling at that moment and time. If you are feeling happy then listen to music that makes you want to dance and jump and if you need to cry then listen to music that will let you do so. I believe it is very important to really pay attention to your emotions and take care of them, because things might get messy when they are bottled up and ready to explode at any moment. So, yes, listen to songs that you would like to at that moment and you will feel much better.
- Journal: Keeping a journal is very essential. You do not have to start with the opening line “Dear Diary…”, but just write about things that happened in your life that you would like to work on or things you aspire to get soon and also about your goals and dreams in the future. You can write about anything really, just try and keep most of it in a positive light and try to phrase your sentences positively. You do not have to be an amazing writer, just go ahead and start it because, in the end, it is just for yourself and no one else.
- Disconnect: Learn and make it a habit not to be connected and be available 24/7. Sometimes just unplug for an hour or more and focus on something else. You can take your pet for a long walk or better yet take yourself on a walk. Spend quality time with a family member or a friend and convince them to be disconnected for that time, or you can also read your favorite book. Do anything that works for you, but try not to use any type of device.
Taking care of yourself and investing in your health is very important. I hope these tips can help as an addition to your already existing self-care plan or maybe work on their own.