By Tara Krishan

As this month is Stress Awareness Month, I would like share some of the self-care activities I do, which help me look after my mental health.

Although the idea of ‘self-care’ can sometimes be overlooked in our busy lives, it is important to implement some form of self-care into our daily routines, as it can positively impact our mood and help to create a much healthier lifestyle. With whatever stresses we face, whether it be university deadlines catching up or a hectic work schedule, I hope that some of my self-care tips help you to unwind and switch off!

The self-care tips that works for me:

  1. Going for a walk in my favourite park – I find that not only are walks great for my physical health, but they help me to take some time out of my day for myself to practise mindfulness. Especially now, where it is more common to be working from home, going for a walk at a place I love can also help ease any anxiety I may be feeling about leaving the house, as this is something I’m not used to as much now. It doesn’t have to be for hours, a brisk walk will do the job, and adding a daily walk, gives some structure to myday. Walking also boosts myenergy, which, in turn, boosts my mood – making it an excellent form of self-care.
  2. Spending time with friends or family – this is the type of self-care I enjoy the most. Spending time with myfamily or friends, away from the workspace, helps me to switch off and be in the moment, whilst also enjoying the company of others. Life can be pretty lonely sometimes, especially in the current climate, so it is important to have some form of engagement with the ones closest to us to remind us of how loved we are!
  3. Journal writing – again, this is a personal favourite. Journal writing, usually at the end of the day for me, really helps in allowing a natural reflection on the ups and downs of my day, making sure all of the thoughts in my head are written down on paper, so they don’t consume my mind the next day. Journal writing can be a simple 5-10 minutes out of your day, and it gives you that time to sit in peace and understand your thoughts and feelings. This is a great one, especially if you struggle with stress, depression or anxiety as it can help you gain control of your emotions.
  4. Binge-watching my favourite show or movie sequel – although it is sometimes very easy to feel guilty for just sitting and watching a show I love for hours on end, this is definitely a form of well-needed self-care now and again. I find that it helps me to dedicate some time, perhaps weekly, to just sitting and doing absolutely nothing – taking myself away from whatever stresses I face and distracting my mind with something I enjoy and can escape in. For me, this is definitely a good reality TV show!
  5. Personal self-care – who doesn’t love a good face mask? I have saved the self-care activity I probably practise the most till last, as it is definitely one anyone can try! . From freshening up my hair and trying on a new outfit, to washing my bed sheets, lighting some candles, or even taking a long bath, all help with stimulating rejuvenation. This is a great tip to use if you struggle with relaxing and it can also make you feel more confident within yourself, which is always very important.

They are so many more self-care tips I could suggest, but these are just a handful of my favourites and ones I practise myself. When you feel like the stress is building up, trying one of these can help you switch off, calm any feelings of anxiousness and can, most importantly, positively impact your day.