Written by Cecilia Ymaz, Sophomore at CVHS

Especially during these unprecedented times, sometimes we forget to look after our mental health. It is extremely important that we start to take better care of ourselves and learn to value some “me time.” What exactly is “me time?” Making time for yourself should be made with the intention of improving your health. When we take the time to improve our mental and physical health, we can set ourselves up for a lifelong journey of self-growth and happiness. Self-care can be found in many different forms and is vital to healing ourselves on the inside. So, how can we practice self-care while staying at home?

Whether you are interested in playing sports, reading books, or have any other hobbies, you can always find a way to incorporate your values into your day. It is important to avoid making excuses such as, “I haven’t finished this assignment,” or “I don’t have time.” Instead of making excuses, we can aim towards fixing these habits and setting priorities. Time management is a skill that can help us make time for ourselves every day. Taking at least 30 minutes of each day to improve mental health will contribute to a much better lifestyle filled with happiness.

Your sleep schedule and a balanced diet are also priorities that should be taken into account when taking care of yourself. Sleeping at least 7-8 hours a day is a key factor in improving your performance throughout the day and maintaining a good mood. Coming from experience, the all-nighters and sleeping at unreasonably late times are NOT worth it. Prioritize your sleep because it prepares you for the next day. Furthermore, eating healthy foods is a great way to reduce your anxiety and stress levels. What goes into your stomach has scientifically been shown to affect your mood when you are constantly eating unhealthy foods. You can also check out our Mindful Monday post on Mental Health & Diet to see delicious recipes that aim to improve mental health.

COVID-19 has brought at-home workouts to a new level with more videos and resources on the web to keep you active and fit! Exercise is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle both mentally and physically. It releases endorphins that enhance our mood and increase our energy levels. There is an endless amount of possibilities available to you when it comes to exercise, right at your fingertips. You can learn new dances off of the internet, or have a dance party in the comfort of your own home. There are also popular YouTube channels such as MadFit and SELF that offer follow-along workouts. Or, if you are in need of some fresh air, take a walk around your neighborhood or at your local park to enjoy the outdoors.

Last of all, it is important to be kind to yourself and others. Encourage positive energy within yourself and stay optimistic during these difficult times. Remind yourself that everything will be okay and that you have the power to change your life. Start by being more mindful of your health and work towards dedicating more time to yourself. Practicing self-love is key in making sure we can take care of ourselves before we take care of others. Take this moment to breathe!

Want some additional ideas to use when practicing self-care? Check out the slides provided in the link below! You can view a short set of slides restating some of the self-care tips I mentioned here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1D5PCsQXItTK_WrtZJPon8Jg5H-AwJfJOyMpGUU7CWcs/edit?usp=sharing

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