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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Top Five Tips for Self Care

My dear friend, Fletcher, spent this summer living and interning in New York City where he will also return for the fall semester. He wrote a blog post about the importance of self-care especially when you're living in a city. It made me reflect upon my own summer in New York so I commented to share some tips with him for when he returns.

I'm moving to a city again next month, although a new one -- London! I'll need to ensure that I'm taking care of myself in order to not be exhausted by the city. I decided to expand a bit on some of what I told Fletcher and share my Top 5 Tips for Self Care with you guys. I tried to shy away from the obvious -- get enough sleep, meditate, take baths, etc -- and share some more unique things that I've found work for me.


ONE: Drink more water. However much you're drinking, you probably need to drink more. Especially if you're consuming alcohol, coffee, or fizzy drinks. It makes my body feel so much better, it makes my skin better, and it makes me feel accomplished and like I have my life together. 

TWO: Ask yourself what makes you happy and pursue it. If there's one thing that I learned in New York last summer, it's that I need to immerse myself in the arts. Anytime I was surrounded by theatre or a museum gallery, I was happy even if I hadn't slept enough or was having a bad day before then. I learned that I am going to need to pursue a career in the arts to make living in a big city worth all the hassle for me. 

THREE: Be active. This is a hard one for me because I have all sorts of self-doubt thoughts that are related to exercise. But just doing a short Pilates video or going for a walk (parks like Central Park in NYC or Hyde Park in London are so great for this!) makes me feel so much better. Lately, I've been working out with weights at my gym twice a week with a routine made for me by a personal trainer and I've felt so much better. I think it has something to do with happy endorphins? 

FOUR: Find what calming technique works for you. I don't think traditional meditation works for everyone. Try it (maybe with an app like Headspace) and if it works, great! If not, try ASMR videos or find songs that make you feel like you can take on the world, or at least a big city, and make a playlist of them. Last summer, I had a playlist of songs that I would listen to while walking around the city to keep myself feeling like I could conquer it. ("Bright Star" from the musical Bright Star is a really lovely one for when you're feeling down.) 

FIVE: Be honest with yourself and seek help if you need it. Especially if you have anxiety, depression, or another mental illness, it's important to understand when to push yourself beyond your comfort zone and when to take care of yourself. Try to listen to your body and give yourself breaks from the hustle of city life. Also, don't be afraid to reach out -- to a counselor, a friend, or a family member -- and talk about the issues you're having. 

Do you all have any self care methods that work for you? If so, be sure to share them in the comments below! x



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