Whether you are in college or working full time, adulthood will pose its difficulties, however, it is important to make sure that you handle things in a rational manner. Here are some important things to remember to do when going about the day:
1. Validate your own feelings. – Everyone is entitled to their bad moods from time to time. Oftentimes, you may hear things like “you’re not allowed to feel stressed about school because so-and-so’s mom recently passed.” While it is true that some people are facing more difficult situations, your feelings are always valid. You’re allowed to celebrate your accomplishments and you’re allowed to mourn personal tragedies.
2. Set a policy for answering work-related emails. – I recently made the decision to only answer work-related emails from the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. It is important to remember that you have a personal life separate from the workplace. If it is an emergency, your boss can easily reach you on your direct line.
3. Eat healthy. – It’s very easy to come home, turn on Netflix, and order pizza. It’s quick, it’s convenient, and it’s delicious. However, doing this on a frequent basis can and will lead to detrimental effects on your body and health. A well-balanced diet is proven to increase overall happiness and combat lethargy.
4. Exercise. – I realize that for people with depression and anxiety, getting up and going to the gym can be rather difficult. However, vigorous exercise releases endorphins, which allow for a calm, happy, and serene feeling.
5. Maintain good hygiene. – Having good hygiene is shown to improve overall confidence. Personally, I never leave the house without having taken a shower, brushed my teeth, and applying deodorant. On that note, if you’re feeling stressed out, taking a long, warm shower will temporarily alleviate stress and anxiety.
6. Remove toxic people from your life. – I have a diverse variety of friends, however, there have been several points in my life at which I had to cut ties with people who weren’t bettering me as a person. The people who I regularly interact with, whether it be in person or via text/social media, are people who I admire; people that have come a long way and are actively working to better themselves.
7. Read. – Whether it be an article from a media outlet, a fictional series, a personal account or a blog post (wink wink), make an effort to pleasure-read every single day. Reading is a very therapeutic activity, and there is something out there for everybody.
8. Acknowledge your vices and shortcomings; work to improve them. – Admitting to yourself that certain behaviors of yours may potentially be toxic is the first step to overall self-improvement. For example, when stressed out, I like to drink away my anxiety and dismiss the situation at hand. I realize that this behavior is irresponsible and I am resolving to handle times difficulty in a more sensible manner.
9. Treat yourself. – Now, I realize that spending a shit-ton of money can lead to even more anxiety, but there are many ways you can be kind to yourself without breaking the bank. For example, this semester, for each week I go without skipping my classes, I will treat myself to my favorite breakfast from Chick-Fil-A.
10. Drink lots of water. – Whether you’re in college or working on a 9 to 5 base, coffee is the nectar of the gods. However, beverages with a high caffeine level are only good in moderation. I try to limit myself to only two cups of coffee in the morning and for the rest of the day, drink the FDA-recommended eight cups of water.
If you find that these self-care tips aren’t improving your overall happiness, health, and wellness, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is accessible on a 24/7 basis at 1-800-273-8255.