• “Self- care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you” – Katie Reed

You are sitting in a nice hot bubble bath, watching your favorite movie on your laptop and using your best face mask. For a short moment while you are in a blissful place and thinking to yourself ‘this is what self- care is’. Before you get upset, I am reminding you to not shoot the messenger because self- care is not only about bubble baths and candles sometimes it is doing the hard things in life!

It is only in the last few years that mental health has truly been taken seriously because for a long time you were told to get over it, that everything is fine and that you are blowing everything out of proportion but guess what you weren’t! Mental health is a serious topic and should be talked about all the time because YOU are not crazy, and you are not alone.

I have anxiety. Over the years, I have struggled finding my triggers as many people do. I realized that small things messed with me; if I was or was not using a planner, surprises of any nature, plans being canceled, plans randomly happening and being the passenger in a car; I was not able to find a connection until one day I just did. I have anxiety attacks when I am in a position where I do not have control over the things around me and things that are happening to me.

From the time I started getting anxiety attacks, I would push them off with the ideas that I was to stressed out and that I was pushing myself to hard thinking that all I needed was to relax; sit back, take a nice bath and wear a face mask but for me that was not the self- care I needed. I would sit in this bath with candles and Netflix freaking out because there were things that I needed to be doing.

For me, self- care is doing things I do not like doing like paying a bill early, cleaning my closet, binge doing homework and making appointments. I know that my self- care sounds crazy and out of the normal but that is okay! I needed a self- care routine where I accomplished things and I was felt that I was in control, at the end of the day I was able to sit in the bath and relax because nothing was overdue, and nothing was waiting to be done.

As you get older and work your way through college, the most important things for you to do is taking care of yourself; not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Your 4.0 grade point average and your long list of clubs doesn’t matter if you end up being a shell of person. To be a successful adult you need to be a successful human which means admitting when you need help and accepting help when it is given but the biggest thing is knowing how to help yourself!

No matter how old you are, you will also struggle with minor triggers even if you do not have a mental illness. Once again, that is okay. You are normal for having them. You can go a lifetime and never know everything that may trigger you.

My goal for you all is to take 10 minutes out of every single day and put that time aside for yourself doing something that is for you. This could mean watching a show, reading a book, writing, drawing, taking a bubble bath, painting your nails, washing your face or just sitting in a quiet room.

No one is going to be able to help you form a self- care routine because I can guarantee you that my routine looks nothing like what you need. Take care of yourself before you take care of someone else because you are unable to give your all if you are not whole.

“I lied and said I was busy. I was busy but not in a way most people understand. I was busy taking deeper breathes. I was busy silencing irrational thoughts. I was busy calming a racing heart. I was busy telling myself I am okay. Sometimes this is my busy and I will not apologize for it.” – B. Oakman