Easy, Simple Self-Care

I go to school full time and work part-time in addition to trying to maintain good physical/mental health. Suffice to say that leaves me with not much time, not a ton of energy, and in desperate need of a break/time to recuperate/take care of myself/not do anything/etc. Most of the time, this kind of mindful taking care of oneself is known as “self-care”. The University of Buffalo (SUNY) School of Social Work explains self-care as:

activities and practices that we can engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and maintain and enhance our short- and longer-term health and well-being.

And the great Audre Lorde described her own relationship with self-care as

not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

In this sense, self-care is a mechanism to counteract the capitalist keep doing and doing and doing mentality that is endemic within Western society. The dominant discourse within the West values the work that our bodies produce especially those of us with marginalized identities, however are bodies/selves/lives are seen as value-less if instead of producing capital gain, we focus on nurturing ourselves. That is how self-care can be a revolutionary act to maintain, uplift, and thrive in societies that are desperate to see us beaten, tired, and emotionally/physically exhausted.

In this post, I’m going to focus on simple, low cost self-care that can be done basically any time. These are self-care activities that are really great for me because I can treat/pamper myself, take my mind off of stressful things, and have a break.


Enrich the Soul

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Vanity: Skincare Routine

vanity skincare routine

Why is this post called Vanity?

Vanity. In many circles vanity is something that’s shunned. It creates an interesting societal contradiction of women being expected to meet the eurocentric standards of beauty where they are judged highly for going through the motions of achieving that standard of beauty. In some sense I can understand the general negativity that surrounds the word. Taking pride in one’s outer appearance counters the American value system of taking pride in accomplishments earned by merit, whereas physical appearance is not something that one earns. There’s a certain air of selfishness in vanity that makes people who pride themselves on their on their looks seems as though they don’t equally value being a good person.

For myself, taking care of both my outer and inner appearance is a critical part of my own self-care. If you’re a person who lives in a stressful environment or lives with a mental illness, actions that make you feel calm and cared for are usually the first things that get abandoned, whether that be showering, eating regularly, wearing clothes that make you feel good, exercising, etc.

My various beautification routines all serve the same purpose of giving my an almost therapeutic meditative space to make me feel good. When I put on my makeup and do my skincare I am taking up time in my day to something that I like to do that doesn’t benefit anyone but me. I find these routines to be incredibly empowering because it reminds me that I am worth the time and money to do the things that make me happy.

And that’s why I’ve decided to call my beauty posts “VANITY”. In time I may find that this word no longer represents how I feel, but currently this word and what it means to me are something I want to share on this blog.

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16 Great Habits for the New Year

The New Year is a great time to start setting goals and making positive changes in your life. Though I make New Year’s Resolutions every year (and this year I’m going to try to stick to them!), sometimes it a lot easier to develop more positive habits, instead of overhauling an entire lifestyle. Creating positive habits is a helpful tool in creating better behaviors.


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School? Social Life? Good Grades? Oh My!

We’re the generation of kids who want it all. We want 4.0 GPAs, amazing social lives, and time to cultivate our interests. It’s difficult and seemingly impossible to reach attain all of these huge goals. I promise you though, while it may seem incredibly challenging,  by creating a balance and prioritizing, we can little by little make reaching each of these goals realities in our own lives.

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Running (or Why I Never Started, Quit, and Began Again)

I’m winded. Stumbling in a cross between a zombie-like lumber and the confident stride a way
less cool Usain Bolt. “I’m going to be really fit”, I say to myself trying to drown out my insistent inner dialogue that demands that I sit down right this instant. People weren’t meant to run for this long, especially not for 30 minutes. “Apparently they are” my inner voice says as the fit man in the very legit running outfit laps me for the third time stares at me as I try to run like a person who knows what they’re doing.

 Surprisingly enough, exercising is not my natural state. I didn’t spend my formative years involved in the sort of activities that give you the discipline to work out for any time more than necessary to pass your high school P.E. class.
I’m from the breed of kids that quit sports as soon as they got too difficult, too competitive, and too much work. I did soccer for a season in middle school and cross country to hang out with my best friend. I’m from the generation of girls who were too self-conscious to exercise because we feared that people we thought were better than us would make fun of us. They’d notice that our skin jiggled, that we weren’t fast, and that we weren’t pretty the way we were supposed to be.
It’s not shocking that I would develop a very strong case of situational anxiety that would result in panic attacks at the thought of someone seeing my exercise and noticing me. Those were the days of waking up early, putting work out clothes, and stopping the moment I realized that someone would probably see me.
I hid a lot when I was younger.
The first time I went running as a teenager, it was with my best friend. In in our senior year of high school fueled by the regrets of not having a noteworthy high school experience wanted to get to fit cool, popular, awesome, college girl status. Running was awful. It was burning lungs and tired legs and “no we have to keep going only 10 minutes left”. But in running I found clarity. There’s something about being in physical
anguish after a workout that helps clear a mental fog.
After that half year of running, I didn’t jog consistently again until college. It took the Summer of Absolute Stress also known as the summer I decided to work and take a hard class that I began to run a lot more. It was one of the few times in my life that I decided to stick with something that was challenging and not fun all
the time.
What can I say, running is strangely rewarding. It wasn’t just the running that was rewarding, it was the fact that I did it in front of people. People who could see me sweat and struggle and not be good, but it didn’t
matter because I’m happy and feel better when I run. It helps me feel less stressed throughout the day and makes me feel like I can do anything.
Maybe running is a metaphor for college. It’s really difficult when you start, but after a while it gets better. The more time you spend practicing and trying, the easier and more rewarding it gets. For all of you wonderful people out there, stay strong. College isn’t always sunshine, roses, and pumpkin spice lattes (I’ve never tried one so I don’t know if this is a good thing or not), but keep trying 🙂
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College Series: Self-Care for College Students

Self-care is really important. I didn’t have a clue what self-care was before I began college (besides the treat yo self memes I saw all the time on Tumblr). When I began college there was a huge focus on students finding balance, managing their academics, and lowering their stress. It’s really easy in college to become stressed and out of balance, which is why self-care is so incredibly important.

What is self care?
As the name suggests, self-care is doing specific acts to maintain your wellbeing, including your physical, mental, social, emotional health. Self-care includes a myriad of different things that all support different facets of your life that are important to maintaining good personal health.
Why is self-care important for college students?
College can be a really stressful time for many students and it’s really easy to forget to take care of yourself. There’s the new challenges of being away from home, the potential stressors of tougher classes, and all the excitement of making new friends and becoming an adult. For me life was a lot busier in college than it was in high school and it was easy to put my self-care on the back burner to make time for my college life. Also, without having my mom around I was completely responsible for taking care of myself.
How does one do the self care?
Self-care can take a lot of different forms whether it’s spending time with friends, exercising, eating healthfully, or just getting enough sleep. For me, I struggled a lot with managing stress during the school year, so I’m going to share some of the best ways I’ve found for managing stress during the school year.
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College Series: The Quote That Guided Me Through College


When I heard Hayley Atwell (the actress who plays Agent Peggy Carter) say this lineit was like everything made sense. I’ve heard a lot of quotes that have resonated with me throughout my life, but these words come back to me frequently as an important reminder.
As someone who has struggled with depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, I fall easily into patterns of self-doubt and low self-confidence. These sorts of challenges are incredibly difficult to deal with for many people myself included because even when you feel fine, there’s always a niggling bit of self-doubt in the back of your mind.

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