By Keisha Jackson

Youth First

It’s so important to make sure we are taking good care of our body, mind and soul each and every day. Self-care is a habit we need to connect with daily, not just when we are sick or feel it’s most convenient. Learning how to eat right, reduce stress, exercise regularly and take a time-out when you need it are big components of self-care and can help you stay healthy, happy and resilient.

Let me be the first to tell you; practicing self-care isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s an ongoing battle I fight year in and year out. Most of us are crazy busy. There are extracurricular activities/ sporting events, school and jobs that can get stressful from time to time. We can also become too invested in our social-media life to take time solely to ourselves. 

In this article, you will find several different tips, ideas, or reminders to help you manage your mental health through self-care. 

Create a plan

Creating a self-care plan can make managing self-care easier. When life gets busy it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Making a plan and sticking to it helps release the stress of managing another “task” on your to-do list. 

Say no to others and yes to your self-care

Saying no is a hard thing to do for some people; however, saying no when feeling overwhelmed or just when you need a day to yourself can be so powerful in the world of self-care. 

Do things that spark joy

Self-care is all about doing something specifically for you. Do one thing daily that sparks joy in your life. Examples of this might include a simple coffee run, getting up to go for a walk around the block or even watching an episode of your “guilty pleasure” show. 

Soak up the sun

Take time to get some sunlight in your day. Just getting 10 minutes of sunlight or having those blinds in your bedroom window open can spunk up your mood just by seeing the sunshine – even on a 15-degree, freezing winter day. 

Don’t skip out on the basics

Continue to eat healthy, exercise regularly and get a healthy amount of sleep. 

Schedule your self-care time

This tip may sound silly, and it can be hard to find that extra time to ourselves; but it’s important to create time in your day to be alone with yourself. Time alone can help you ponder the best way to move forward in life to keep you grounded; while moments with friends can help you feel more connected, at ease and relaxed. 

Keisha Jackson is the Youth First social worker at Annunciation School’s Christ the King and Holy Spirit campuses, and St. John the Baptist in Newburgh.