By Jay Vicente
Right now, reality feels like a dumpster fire. With the election, racial tensions, and a global pandemic creating a maelstrom of negativity everywhere we look, it’s easy to forget to care for yourself. If you’re anything like me, you’ve gotten caught up in everything that’s been going on and haven’t taken enough time to simply relax and ground yourself recently. Whether you have five minutes or five hours, the following list of self-care tips and tricks can help you keep your mind and body at peace during these chaotic times.
If relaxation is what you need, focus your energy on “powering down” activities like journaling or getting caught up on your skincare routine. Hot baths or showers with luxurious body washes and fun smelling lotions can do wonders to release tension and built up stress after a long day. Yoga is another way of releasing stress and calming down. There are also tons of yoga routines and poses out there to help with any issue and fit any experience or intensity level.
If pampering is more your style, then doing your nails or having a small (or large) spa day might be the way to go! Treating your body gently and showing it some extra love can help improve your mental state immensely; if that doesn’t sound like your thing, then you could pamper yourself by buying or making some of your favorite food and drinks. Humans derive happiness from eating good food, so whether it’s a salad or a giant plate of pasta, making food can help nourish your body and make your brain happy.
While these “romanticized” iterations of self-care are a valid and good treat every once in a while, doing basic care tasks are really important as well. Showering, washing your hair, drinking water, making your bed, or cleaning off your desk are essential ways to take care of yourself and set you up for a better mindset. If any of these tasks seem too daunting to do all at once, try the “brain break” method. Go about your day like you normally would but take five to ten-minute breaks every now and then. Set alarms or timers if you have to — but during those minutes, clean a small part of your room, or get a drink of water or a healthy snack. Celebrate every completed task, and slowly but surely, you’ll have taken care of yourself without completely draining your stores of energy.
Always remember that your mental and physical health comes first before anything else. Even though we’re distanced, and human connections are hard to keep up right now, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends and family when you need them. Talking and interacting with people is one of the most effective ways to take care of yourself and get out of any funks you might find yourself in. If you don’t feel like you have someone to talk to or need more professional help, don’t forget that Hendrix offers online counseling in many different forms. The counselors will help you in any way they can, and will provide resources in the event that you need them.
You are important, and I hope you know that people care about you and want to see you flourish. Times are tough right now, but we will make it through this, and we will be stronger because of it. Remember to drink enough water and get enough sleep, but also go bake those brownies. After all, you deserve it.
For more information on mental and physical well-being during quarantine, click here. Additionally, counseling services can be found on the college’s website, and you can also reach out to Student Senate’s Mental Health Committee or the Well-Being Coalition.
This article was featured in the Issues Issue. Check out the Issues Issue in its full glory here.