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During stressful times, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. It might slip your mind to do your skin care routine one day, or you might go weeks without taking a day to yourself to hang out with friends, go to your favorite restaurant, or just relax at home with a good book or your favorite show. It’s not the end of the world if you forget to practice self-care occasionally, but it can be detrimental to your mental health if you discard it completely.

There are many different ways to practice self-care. Self-care isn’t a competition. It can look different and have different meanings for everyone. Whatever works for you is right. Some common ways that individuals can practice self-care can be through physical activity, eating healthy, pampering yourself, or allowing yourself to have a day off from your usual routine.

There are other ways that you can practice self-care that are mental rather than physical. For example, you could focus on setting boundaries within your life, whether that be for relationships or personal goals. Making sure you are comfortable within your relationships is an important act of self-care. You could also work on forgiving yourself for things that you cannot change. Retaining pent-up guilt or regret will only hurt you in the long run, so by forgiving yourself you can accept the things you cannot change and start focusing on what you can.

By practicing self-care, you are increasing your self-awareness of the patterns of your emotions, which can sometimes benefit individuals with mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Also, by being aware of your emotions, you can work towards soothing negative thoughts and allowing yourself to relax rather than be stressed. It’s important to remember to do something purely for yourself every once in a while, and to remind yourself that you are worthy of this care.

– Haidyn Emmerich
Nourish Your Mind Blog Contributor
Neuroscience & Psychology Student – Syracuse University
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