In the 250 Words series, one question is posed to the RU Student Life bloggers, who each provide their own perspective.
Question 4: What’s included in your “self care plan” and how do you remind yourself that it’s important?
Janine: Radiating Optimism
Being optimistic is one of the top actions I include in my “self care plan.” I take care of my mental health by wanting to feel optimistic even through times where I can’t seem to find something good out of it. I try to accomplish this daily by keeping myself in a positive environment, whether that be surrounding myself with other people who radiate the same energy or even listening to uplifting music (holiday music never fails).
Another part of my “self care plan” also includes radiating positivity – meaning as much as I try to keep my mental health in a positive thinking state, I also want to reflect that onto other people. Brightening another person’s day, or encouraging them to act positively not only makes others, hopefully, feel more optimistic, but makes me feel the same way too. Knowing that I made a positive effect in someone’s day makes me strive to continue to grow this optimism and positivity energy and mind set.
The importance with this is that I believe whatever energy you put out into the universe is what the universe will give to you in return. By radiating positive energy in my life and trying to do the same with others will in turn create more positivity in your life.
Jess: Slowing Down
My self-care plan involves things that slow me down and return me to myself.
When you feel things deeply like I do, it is important to have an arsenal of feel-good tonics to combat against the subtle ways that the world can weigh you down. In places like Toronto, where people are martyrs for productivity, self-care is of crucial importance. Toronto is a city that is always on, and as I am always on with it, I easily lose touch with how quickly it wears me out. That’s why my self-care plan involves little escapes where I can slow down and be alone with myself in order to focus on how I am feeling rather than on the things that I need to do. These escapes vary in size and are anything from a hot bubble bath, to an afternoon spent with a close friend, to hopping on a plane and either going home to quiet New Brunswick, or to a new city altogether. Time spent away from the demands of my everyday life make me feel like I am revisiting a stripped down version of myself that often gets lost among my many ideas, plans, and worries. When I return from these sacred absences, the tightness in my chest where stress manifests is gone, my joie de vivre is restored, and I feel as though I can take anything on.
Zahra: No Pant Fridays
I like to try and stay in on Fridays. This tradition of fuzzy socks and tea is the perfect combination for my bed and me. Since university started, I found myself a little lost in the crowd. When I got my first C- in first semester, I realized my grades were sinking, like my mental health; in order to better the first, I had to tackle the second. I don’t know what it is about not wearing pyjama bottoms, maybe I feel lighter or maybe it’s the fact that I spend 20 extra seconds by the mirror every time I get up for snacks admiring my own legs. Whatever it is, it works for me.
It’s especially gratifying after a whole week of daily workouts to appreciate my accomplishments. No Pants Fridays is not just physical, I like to mentally and emotionally strip down as well: cleanse my body with tea in mugs my palms don’t fit, verbally vomit on my journal, and set my phone on airplane mode to avoid life for a couple of hours.
Self care holds an importance because we are individuals with multiple layers that should not be defined by our academics alone. So, with that said, No Pants Fridays is more of an ideology rather than an act. As my boo Charles Bukowski once said, “Find what you love and let it kill you”, which I like to revamp to “Find what you love and let it live you”.