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Practicing self-care is crazy important for people in their twenties.
I mean, practicing self-care is important for everyone, and not just on Mental Health Monday (I’ll explain later). But it’s a lot easier to build good habits in your twenties than your forties. Or fifties. If you start taking care of yourself now, it won’t be such a struggle in years to come.
And I’m sure, right now it feels like a struggle.
A lot of my clients who come in for therapy tell me they feel guilty taking care of themselves when there are so many things and people that need their attention. My response to them is that they can be of no help to those people and things if they’re burnt out. It’s simple math– Suzie can’t give Tammar 60 watermelons if she only has one. (Anyone else learn simple math with problems like that?)
Anyway, that’s part of why I’m writing this post. A lot of you out there need help practicing self-care, whether it’s because you feel guilty, don’t know how you should prioritize, or don’t know how to take care of yourself. So, at the end of this post, you’ll find a list of 25 blog posts from all over the internet chock full of ways you can start practicing self-care. And there isn’t a more perfect day than today to start this conversation! It’s the first day of Spring, it’s the International Day of Happiness, and now it’s the first of many Mental Health Monday posts! I’ll explain.
Mental Health Monday will be a new series here at Uninspired.
On Facebook this week, I asked if anyone would be interested in reading or guest posting in a series about mental health and practicing self-care, and I got an overwhelming one hundred responses. The people have spoken. They want Mental Health Monday.
Mental Health Monday will involve lovely guest bloggers who have volunteered to share their personal experiences with mental health. So far, I have bloggers willing to write about anxiety, depression, sobriety, emotional support animals, OCD, and even what it’s like to have family members with a mental illness. The best part of it all? If nothing on that list resonates with you, you can pitch it to me!
As I said earlier, I’m writing this post because y’all need to learn to take care of yourselves. But the reason I’m starting this series goes deeper than that. Being in the psychology field, I’m talking about mental health constantly, and I sometimes forget that everyone isn’t so lucky. In lots of families and even cultures (or entire genders– I’m lookin’ at you, men!), it’s frowned upon to talk about your problems. It really hit me that this was something I needed to do when a reader contacted me and said:
“Nicole, this is the first time I have even had a discussion [with] others about this stuff! No clue people were open and accepting.”
No clue people wee open and accepting?! Girl. Pull up a chair, make some tea, we’re gonna talk about this shit ’til we’re blue in the damn face. It makes me so sad to think of how easy it was to find someone who needed to talk and needed a community, but didn’t even know such a thing existed.
So like, Mental Health Monday is really important you guys, and I’m so glad you’re in it with me. We’re gonna help so many people.
The International Day of Happiness
I don’t have a guest blogger today because I just started collecting drafts. I still need to read them over, edit, etc. However, I did want to jump right into talking about mental health and practicing self-care, like I said earlier. Also like I said earlier, it’s the perfect day to do so, because it’s the International Day of Happiness.
IDOH is a fairly new concept. The first one was held in 2013, after all 193 members of the United Nations decided that happiness needed to be a higher priority. They dubbed today, March 20th, the day to celebrate relationships and take care of yourself. When I was in college, I organized lots of events to commemorate the day. We gave away free Rita’s Italian Ice, gave out free hugs, and passed out information on practicing self-care. We hoped that for at least one day out of the year, people were doing things for themselves so they could fill up on love and motivation to give out to others.
Since I’m no longer in college (even though I’m still crying about it) I have to take it upon myself this year to make it a happy day. Gone are the days when my main obligation was spending four hours in the sunny quad passing out hugs. I’m writing this post just after finishing a statistics exam, which happened after I spent a full day chasing third graders around. After this, I’m going to my third job as a tutor. BUT! I’m still finding time to take my sister and her friend for free Rita’s when I’m done with this long-ass day. (did you know it’s free Rita’s day??) I might be blowing off a reading for class, but I decided on my priorities.
So, for one day– The International Day of Happiness AND Mental Health Monday– do yourself a favor and do ONE thing from any of these wonderful lists I’ve compiled. If it doesn’t work, try another. Rinse and repeat as needed. I promise you, you’ll thank me in a few years when your stress levels are lower than your peers’. You can thank me later today, when you feel more energized and motivated to keep doing your best. But the best part is– you can thank yourself for giving you what you need.
That was cheesy. I’ll stop talking. Here’s the list:
- 21 Self Care Practices for the Mind, Body and Soul – Confident Life
- How to Create an Evening Self Care Routine – Moms Choose Joy
- 101 Self Care Activities – Get Mom Balanced
- 100 Ways to Practice Self-Care – Dalindcy
- 50 Items to Have in Your Self-Care Sanctuary – The Truth Practice
- 7 Ways to Practice Self-Care This Weekend – Confident Life
- How to Create a Self-Care Retreat – Christy Tending
- 22 Ways to Treat Yo Self Without Spending Money – Life and a Budget
- Self-Care Ideas for Spring – Wholeheartedly Healthy
- 3 Ways Self-Care Helps Me Tackle Tough Times – Make It 218
- 50 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Stressed – The Truth Practice
- Self-Care for Health Pros – Making Lemonade
- How to Practice Self-Care Like a Boss – Wholeheartedly Healthy
- How to Start a Self-Care Routine – The Minimalist Mind
- 64 Ideas for Self-Care When Life Gets Hard – Janine Ripper
- 10 Effective Self-Care Rituals for Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Highly Sensitives – Oh So Sensitive
- My Nightly Self-Care Routine – Jessica Dimas
- 15 Self-Care Tips for the Winter Blues – Courageous Writing
- How and Why to Practice Self-Care – Very Erin
- 5 Self-Care and Inspiration Blogs to Follow – Love the Here and Now
- 101 Self-Care Ideas – Ivory and Pine
- 25 Self Care Ideas for Bad Days – Resilient
- 101 Useful Ways to Practice Self-Care – Delighted Heart
- 15 Ways to Practice Self-Care – Loved by Liv
- A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Care – Feisty Green Polka Dot