Written by Ally Geist
Self-care is my favourite. If you’ve followed WYL for a while, you know that we always say that self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care is healthcare, and much like healthcare, some of it isn’t so fun; sometimes, it’s not the treat yo’self things, and more of the need-to-do-these things. With spring underway, and my summer semester beginning, I thought I would elaborate on my favourite spring self-care strategies, keeping in mind that these consist of both the fun things, and the not-as-fun *adult* things.
1) Donating clothes. De-cluttering your space feels so good, and while I’m never the biggest fan of spring cleaning while I’m in the middle of it, with piles of my possessions on the floor in heaps, it’s always worth it when I’m done. A huge stress-reliever and feel-good self-care thing for me is donating my clothes – I can cut down on clothes I don’t wear and help someone out in the process. It’s pretty great.
2) Doing laundry. I actually love doing laundry. I love bringing a book of poems or a journal with me to pass the time while I’m waiting for the loads to finish, but there is nothing better than the feeling of clean sheets, or your favourite sweater hot out of the dryer. True story.
3) Laying down in the grass. I just moved, and now live closer than ever to the beautiful public gardens in Halifax, Nova Scotia! There is so much greenery, flowers, and grass in these gardens, filling several city blocks, and it’s definitely one of my favourite self-care spots. The smell of grass and feeling its cold and soft texture on my bare feet helps me be mindful, and take some time to just breathe.
4) Reading on a patio. Thankfully, my favourite café ever (Dilly Dally, for those of you who live in Halifax or are planning a visit!) has tables and chairs outside so I can enjoy the sunshine and spring weather while still going to my favourite de-stress spot.
5) Making iced tea. I’m a tea girl. Winter, spring, summer, fall, I’m all about it. I drink iced tea all year round, but there’s just something about sitting in the sun with a cold glass of iced tea, or even inside if I have to work or study – it’s a huge pick-me-up.
6) Petting dogs. Full disclosure, I become a different person when I see a dog. I can’t think of anything I love more than a big fluff-ball coming up to me and licking my hand, or getting hit by a dog’s fluffy tail. There are tons of walking paths and parks in Halifax, and one of my favourite spring forms of self-care is getting to see all the puppers out and about on their daily walks!
7) Going for walks. Speaking of dogs… humans need walks too! Getting outside can be majorly good for your mental health. I’m totally guilty of wanting to stay in my bed and binge-watch Netflix, but I never regret getting out in the sun. It’s a great opportunity to take a few minutes to get away from technology. I love to walk without music, my phone, or anyone else for even a few minutes a day when I can, and practice emptying my head of intrusive thoughts.
8) Picnics. Okay, so I haven’t tried this one out yet BUT my roommate and I have made plans… so that counts, right?! Picnics combine my love of making yummy and creative new recipes, laying in the grass, seeing dogs, and going for walks! What else could a girl ask for?!
9) Doing the dishes, and other chores. Seriously, y’all, I hate doing the dishes. I’ll put them off for as long as I can. I hate cleaning the bathroom, sweeping, and all that fun stuff. That being said, I love the feeling of being in a clean home, and having a clean room, and there is nothing better than an empty sink and full cupboards.
10) Donating my hair. I did this last summer, and am planning on donating it again this year! I love the feeling of a completely different hair style, and how clean and “fresh” you feel when your hair is newly-cut and soft.
No matter what spring has in store for you, make sure to take time for self-care. The ways in which you choose to engage in self-care might differ from someone else, but make sure you find something that works for you. Life can get stressful, and you deserve to look after yourselves in ways that will make you feel good! Have fun out there – I’m rooting for you.