Self-Care and Mindfulness Tips

There is a difference between being mindful and being mind-ful! Illustration by Devi C.

Self-care and mindfullness go hand-in-hand, are things that we all need, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Self-care is a way to keep yourself healthy mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But why is self-care so important? According to Matthew Glowiak, a counselor at Southern New Hampshire University, self-care is often the first thing that we neglect when we find ourselves in difficult situations, whether it be failing a class, financial stress, or family and friend drama (Glowiak, 2020). Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens (Berkeley, 2021). That is why it is important to continuously practice self-care and mindfulness, even in challenging times. By scheduling some time every day or every week to engage in self-care and be mindful, you better equip yourself to handle the things life may throw at you. You will be able to reset yourself into a healthy point so that you can carry on doing the things you need to do and prevent burnout.

By not practicing self-care or being mindful, you are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, irritability, resentment, and whole bunch of other negative effects. Having a self-care routine and being mindful have been scientifically proven to reduce or get rid of anxiety, stress, depression, and frustration and anger, and has been proven to improve happiness, concentration, sleep quality, energy, and many other positive implications (Glowiak, 2020). They have been proven to reduce physical health illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

One of the biggest excuses for people who do not engage in regular self-care or mindfulness is that they do not “have enough time”. Everyone has lots of things going on in their lives, but it is essential to carve out even just a mere 5 minutes of self-care – it does not have to cost a thing! Instead of scrolling on Instagram or TikTok, here are some simple & quick ways to implement self-care into your daily regime and practice more mindfulness.

Five easy ways to practice minfulness. Illustration by Devi C.
  1. Practice affirmations
      • Affirmations serve as “integrity boosters”, raising a person’s sense that they are a coherent, moral, and adequate individual. Many people wish to view themselves as compassionate, worthy, and capable individuals, but sometimes their behaviors, attitudes, and intentions don’t always align with that ideal (Critcher, 2015). By practicing affirmations aloud repeatedly, one can allow themselves to truly feel that they are who they ideally view themselves to be. Repeat this with me 5 times:
  Read this alound to yourself — “I am worthy of     good things”. Repeat. Illustration by Devi C.

2.  Drink a cup or two of water first thing in the morning. Your body will thank you and this will help prevent you from feeling groggy from dehydration upon waking up from a night’s sleep.

3.  Have a little dance party in your room/home. Blast on your favorite songs and dance like nobody is watching!

4.  Move your body for at least 30 minutes a day. This can be as simple as walking to all your classes in the day, instead of opting for the bus or scooters.

5.  Get a plant. Nurturing plants is very therapeutic and they are lovely to look at!

6.  Stop to smell the flowers – literally. This only takes a few seconds, but is very helpful in helping ground you in the moment and connect you with the very present.

7.  Say no. It is important not to overextend yourself – you need to take care of you first before you can take care of others. You are more important than your to-do list. Prioritize you wellbeing above little tasks you might think or feel you need to do!

               Ribbert the frog says hi! Illustration by Devi C.

 


 

References:

Berkeley. (2021). Mindfulness definition: What is mindfulness. Greater Good. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition#:~:text=Mindfulness%20means%20maintaining%20a%20moment,through%20a%20gentle%2C%20nurturing%20lens.

Critcher, C. (2015). Self-Affirmations Provide a Broader Perspective on Self-Threat. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0146167214554956 

Glowiak, M. (2020, April 14). What is self-care and why is it important for you? Southern New Hampshire University. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from https://www.snhu.edu/about-us/newsroom/health/what-is-self-care 

Devi is an undergraduate at Georgia Tech studying computer science. In her free time, she enjoys jogging, cooking and baking new things, jamming to vinyls and music, and gazing at the stars. Devi also loves cats!! (meow)