I am so glad to be home for the summer! As much as I love college, my friends, and my life, I love being home. At this point, I am officially halfway done with my getting my Bachelor’s degree!!!! How crazy is that?!?
So last summer, I had an internship at the State Museum. This year, I chose not to reapply for it. Instead, I have a list of goals I want to accomplish. Some of these are pretty basic, like make money (get a summer job), or go through old clothes I no longer wear. But there are some that are much more complicated and vague. One of which is taking care of myself. While I am in pretty good health both mentally and physically, there are things I want to do to improve myself.
Some of you may be in a similar position. You may want to find ways to love yourself some more. I think that’s something that anyone can improve on. With media nowadays, there is usually more negativity than positivity. If you don’t line up with celebrities, then you aren’t worthy. Yeah, no. That’s a huge lie. You are amazing as you are. So if you need ways on how to love yourself more, here’s a pretty extensive list:
- Journal- writing down your thoughts can be great. For me, every night before I go to bed, I spend 5-10 minutes writing down the positive things of the day. Sometimes it’s something simple like “slept in” or “had dinner with my family”, but it is definitely teaching me to enjoy even the smallest and most mundane things in life.
- Read for fun- assuming reading is something you enjoy, it is so healthy to spend time immersed in a book.
- Drink water- this one seems rather simple, but water does so much for your body. It helps with a lot of your body’s functions.
- Clean something/ declutter- this goes hand in hand with one of my summer goals: getting rid of old clothes. Last summer, I redid my room. So for me, there isn’t much I can “declutter”. However, I am going through my clothes and getting rid of ones that no longer fit in my style.
- Work out- exercise and get your blood flowing. It also helps you feel better about yourself because hey, your body just killed these exercises.
- Have fun- we get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to enjoy ourselves. Take time to do something you enjoy.
- Learn something new- take a class, pick up a new skill, watch an interesting documentary. When you learn something new, your brain has to fire neurons differently, which helps to energize you and strengthen your mental health.
- Surround yourself with people you love and love you- good friends can make all the difference in the world. So laugh, cry, and enjoy being around people.
- Let yourself feel any and all emotions- I understand that people bottle up your emotions, and that is not healthy. But it is also not healthy to explode at even the smallest thing. These are actually correlated. You need to feel all emotions when they happen so you don’t react rashly or not at all.
- Set goals for yourself- know what you want out of your life. It could be something you can reach in a week or something you can reach in a year. Goals help give you a purpose and something to reach for.
- Smile- even faking a smile actually helps improve your mood. The phrase “fake it till you make it” is so accurate in this sense.
- Do a face mask- I know this is more stigmatized to girls, but there is no reason that guys can’t do face masks as well. I do a face mask every Sunday night. It helps me both take off the pressures of the past week AND prepare for the next week.
- Sleep- sleep does your body so much good. I don’t mean like “sleep and avoid your responsibilities”. I mean “instead of spending four hours on Instagram while laying in bed, put your phone down and rest.
- Change your scenery- walk, go for a drive, something. Just give yourself some change of scenery. It’ll help clear your head.
- Strengthen your spirituality- whatever religion you practice, grow yourself in it more. Pray, meditate, read the religious texts. Or if you are not practicing a religion, find your peace with yourself.
- Breathe deeply- personally, there are times that I find myself “forgetting to breathe.” By that I mean, I take small breaths that more wear me out than refresh me. So when I find myself getting like that, I take a couple moments to fill up my lungs and breathe deeply.
- Relax your muscles- I can’t tell you how many times I have to do this because I unintentionally find myself tensing up my shoulders or my back. So I have to remind myself almost continuously to let my shoulders especially relax.
- Spoil yourself- I get it. Life gets in the way. Bills and other expenses pile up. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still buy something just for you. It doesn’t have to be something super expensive, and I definitely recommend budgeting for it. For me, a big thing I spoil myself on is makeup. I was at Walmart about a week ago, and I found some makeup on clearance. Normally, it was $11.19, but it was discounted to $1.50! I couldn’t pass that up!
- Get some fresh air- being outside does good for you. So make sure to periodically get some good air from being outside. There is a difference between indoor air and outdoor air. Don’t just fill up your lungs with stifled air.
- Get a massage every now and then- it’s good for your muscles, and it helps them relax.
- Watch a movie or TV show- sometimes, just taking a couple of hours for yourself can make a huge difference.
- Don’t feel guilty about where you are- you don’t need to apologize for your position in life. Just because you may not be where someone else is in their life goals doesn’t mean that you are failing in any way.
- Laugh hard- whether it’s with friends, scrolling through Pinterest or Tumblr, or even watching videos on YouTube, find ways to make yourself laugh. Don’t just chuckle. Laugh so hard that you can’t catch your breath and tears are pouring out of your eyes.
- Eat well- eating poorly does so much damage to you. If your body can’t get the nutrients it needs, then you won’t have the energy to do anything. So eat well and healthy.
- Listen to some good music- whatever genre you love. For me, the genre I use depends on my activity and mood. So listen to whichever genre gets you motivated.
- Catch up with a friend- one of my best friends goes to a different college than me. Most of the time, our breaks line up, at least somewhat. So when we’re both in town, we like to meet up and get lunch. We catch up with each other’s lives, and it’s always a good time.
- Solve a problem- that thing that’s been bugging you? Do what you can to fix it. Find a way to challenge your mind. Periodically, I do puzzles like Sudoku, logic puzzles, or other things that require my brain to be engaged. It helps strengthen my mind and does my body good too because I actually feel productive, even if I’ve done nothing else that day.
- Make yourself proud- don’t try to please anybody else without pleasing yourself. Self-love is about yourself. Not anybody else. So do things that YOU are proud of. You need to be proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished. Know your worth and know who you are.
- Enjoy the moment- I know being in college, I get focused on my future. In doing so, I forget to enjoy my present. Slow down and enjoy the day.
- Snuggle!- Whether it’s with an animal, a person, or even just in a blanket. It’ll help I promise.
So there you have it. A pretty extensive list of self-love tips. I hope these help. As always, whenever I offer advice, this is my biggest tip: find what works for you. I can’t speak for you. I don’t know what you need specifically, so take care of yourself.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments!