With finals and AP exam season coming up, NC students may find themselves in need of a day to de-stress and relax. The perfect solution? A self-care day. Students must remember that taking time for themselves and selfishness do not equal each other, and taking care of oneself build helpful and constructive habits to help the individual throughout life.
STEP 1: LOG OFF
Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and other social media can lead teens into a habit of comparison—the last thing needed on a self-care day. Social media also exists as a detrimental distracter and can take away from the focus on one’s body and mind. Although not entirely necessary, taking this step and even choosing to turn off the phone for the day helps relieve much distraction and unnoticeable stress.
STEP 2: GET ACTIVE
Working out releases endorphins like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain—all chemicals that induce pleasant feelings and increase energy, automatically acting as a mood booster. Physical activity also relieves tension and stress. Simple activities like dancing around a room, hiking, or walking a dog also act as endorphin-releasing activities. Anything works, not just the gym. Any way one can get themselves moving ensures benefits to follow suit.
STEP 3: TAKE A BATH
Light some candles, bring a book or a device to watch Netflix on and settle in. Bubbles, bath salts, or bath bombs add pleasant smells and oils for enjoyment. Warm water relaxes muscles and reduces stress. Thoroughly cleansing oneself is seen sometimes as an indulgent act, but benefits mental and physical health greatly.
STEP 4: CLEAN YOUR SPACE
Productivity on self-care days can seem counteractive but truly aids in clearing up one’s mind and de-stressing. Cleaning up one’s room can bring a sense of accomplishment, relaxation, and comfort. A small feeling of accomplishment can bring a simple good feeling to students that stress about completing schoolwork, studies, and tests.
STEP 5: CARE FOR YOUR SKIN
Face masks, exfoliation, deep cleanse, you name it—anything to treat one’s skin does much to treat the inside as well. Allowing oneself the pleasure of pampering helps to revive stressed skin and creates a feeling of relaxation.
Never a waste of time, dedicating a day to oneself becomes necessary as stressful times approach and drag on. Taking time to pay attention and tend to one’s own mind and body allows the individual an opportunity to refocus on other aspects of their life.