How to Practice Self-Care

Bella Van Winkle, Staff Writer

Students are dropping off the grid from stress and self-hate- here’s how to help yourself feel better. A Pew Research Center poll concluded that 70% of teens say that anxiety and depression is a major problem in their community.

Every person ever seems to boast about their self-care ritual, and the idea of self-care sounds nice but unattainable. Guess what? It’s easy to go through someone else’s steps of taking care of themselves, but you are both very different people.

From personal experience, self-care sounds like a very poetic thing to do, but most of the time, it’s ugly stuff. Essentially, the act of self-care is picking yourself up from the ground and making sure you will eventually be okay.

Take it from someone who deals with depression and anxiety everyday: life feels really unfair sometimes, and the hard truth is that it is unfair. But there are good things out there for you to invest your time and effort into. The following list are options for you to find something that works for you to make you feel good.

  1. Let yourself cry

On days when the world feels like it’s against you, the first step is to let yourself cry if you feel like it. I know, it sounds counterintuitive to cry when you feel sad, but it’s actually really healthy for you to cry. Crying is soothing, to start. It allows you to calm yourself down, reduce your own destress and regulate your emotions. Not only that, but it releases oxytocin, a happy chemical, and endorphins, which will both improve your mood. Crying also helps kill bacteria with a fluid called Isozyme. Isozyme is a fluid in your eyes that has antimicrobial properties that reduce risks like blindness.


  1. Get some water and food

If you have finished crying, or just didn’t at all, grab a water bottle and chug some water. After you have just cried and lost a lot of the water, you’re bound to suffer from a headache or feeling exhausted. Water is energizing, and will re-hydrate your eyes, causing them to feel less dry and sticky. Also, make sure you’ve eaten something in the last three hours. If not, grab yourself an apple or a granola bar, something your body could use to begin building itself back up.


  1. I’m not okay

Most of the time, when you go out into public, at least one person is going to ask how you’re doing. If it’s someone you trust, let them know that things aren’t going the best at the moment. It’s hard, but most of the time, people are willing to help if they only know that something is wrong. Of course, when telling your life story to the store clerk, you won’t get the best reaction. A trusted friend or family member will support you better than a stranger. Let yourself trust someone.


  1. Professional help

Self-care is tricky. Some things that will work for you will not work for other people. Someone close to me hangs out with her family and is able to care for herself by being around people. If I were to do that, however, I might be hurting myself further by forcing myself to be in a social environment after already being drained. If you are not able to talk to someone in your friend group, or a family member, it’s time to consider therapy. In movies and TV shows, therapy is stereotyped as sitting in front of a person who would rather be anywhere else, and you talk but are not heard. From my own personal experience, this could not be farther from the truth. My own therapist told me that while she was paid to hear me, she truly did care for her clients. You would be your therapist’s client, in a job they went to school for and continue to be in. The reason why therapy should be your next option for self-care is because when you are not able to find ways to help yourself feel like you, you begin to break down. Psychologist Perpetua Neo spoke on this matter. “When it explodes you do things you regret,” Neo said,  “You spend too much money on things you don’t like, you sleep with the wrong people you hate, things like that. And afterwards, you say it was your emotions that made you do it.”

That not only will hurt you, it’ll hurt people around you. Therapists are able to help you work through that. They offer a safe place where you are able to talk about anything you want to an unbiased source. They will give you tools, a term used in therapy to reference ways to work through your panicked or stressed moments. It’s not something to be forced upon you, but if you are seriously considering it, here’s one person who says do it.


Self-care is important, whether you believe it or not. There are Instagram models, Youtubers, movie stars and more telling you to love yourself, and with these tips, you are able to start. Loving yourself begins with self-care.