I’ve always been big on taking time out for myself to just do me but these past 2 months I feel like I’ve been living by this so much that I basically have a routine. It makes a huge difference in my attitude, productivity and just how I feel overall. It took me a long time to understand the importance of making sure I implement this routine into my week/days. I can not go longer than 3-5 days without having something super annoying kill my mood. But having this routine helps me destress so I can remain productive during the week. If I have time, I try to have mental health days (which is just my self-care routine elongated into a whole day) on Sundays but if not I'll take 1-3 hours to just disconnect from everything and chill out.
Before I decide to spend 8 hours taking a bubble bath, I make sure everything on my to-do list is done. Nothing is worse than trying to relax but you're thinking about labs and dishes in the sink. Sometimes it doesn't work out like that and I just need to relax before even attempting anything but 8/10, I make sure all my assignments are done and my apartment is spotless because I don't want to have to think about anything.
Next, I disconnect. I log out of my social media accounts, put my phone on do not disturb, ignore all my emails/text and just pretend that the only thing that exist is my little bubble. How I feel about social media varies but a majority of the time it's annoying. I feel like everything triggers me whether it's the news people I follow being super negative. Disconnecting is crucial because you can't be all about yourself if you're scrolling through Instagram watching other people.
It's important to allow your thoughts to flow. Don't try to stop them because I feel like that makes things worse. Whether it's a test you failed or if someone dubbed you, allow yourself to process it instead of acting like you don't care. It doesn't matter who you are or how tough you try to be, there are things that will bother you and that's okay. The sooner you allow your thoughts and analyze them, the sooner you'll stop thinking about it or at least understand why you feel the way you feel. Something else I also say is cry it out one, two or even three times and then move on. If you're struggling with moving on, something that works for me is only allowing myself to stress about that one thing for only 5 minutes of the day and that's it. Eventually, I stop needing that 5 minutes and I'm good as long as someone annoying doesn't come along and trigger me.
Most post I read about treating yourself tell you to indulge and eat all the crap you want. I disagree with this because 1. I'm doing this routine multiple times a week so if I indulge each time or at least a couple times, I'm going to end up with health issues and 2. I'm fake bougie so I want to eat good, not just snickers and cheetos. I usually cook because for some reason it's therapeutic. I guess because I'm cooking for myself and not a family of 5.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this but I save all my shows, podcast and articles for one moment. It's like when you can't eat your food until you're comfortable and your show is playing. It's pretty much the same thing.
Once I'm watching my shows and eating, I'm pretty content but that doesn't last forever. Food runs out and then I finish all my shows. Now I'm just staring there like what's next. That's when I start working on my passion project. Meaning my blog or portfolio. Anything not related to school. My rule is that I have to put as much effort into my passion projects as I do my school work because they both deserve the same amount of energy. Find that thing you love to work on and put time into it.
Usually, after I finish all of these, a couple hours have passed already so it's time to wrap it up. If I have the time, I'll end my night with a bath but recently I haven't been able to because life so I try to just read a feel-good book. I'm currently reading "You Are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life" and Gabrielle Union's new book, "We're Going To Need More Wine". They're both good if you're looking for a new read.
There are a couple of things I didn't include into this post because it's not a routine thing it's just something I do whenever I need to. Like me listening to that one song that can lift my mood or spending hours venting to someone. The key to self care is doing whatever you want to do and being okay with being selfish (not self centered, because there is a difference) for your well being.