Dear Strong Chick: Self Care 101

Hey Babes! Rachel here. Anna is coming in with her first week answering readers questions and this week she’s diving into self care. She got a ton of questions from young women, and fellow high schoolers, and these were the ones she picked to answer. Anna is sharing her personal perspective, insight and wisdom—not intended to diagnose, or treat health conditions of any kind.

With that happy disclaimer, happy reading!

Happy Friday!

This week on the column we are going to be discussing the topic self-care. There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the term and it’s meaning, so I would like to share what self-care means to me and of course answer some Strong Chick questions!

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Self-care is when you take small actions to better yourself and your mindstate. In short, practicing self-care is what allows both you and me to be the best versions of ourselves. The world often centers around giving back to others, taking care of those around us and being selfless. While I believe greatly in this kind of kindness, the truth is that in order to take care of others we must first take care of ourselves.

Self-care can be glamorous. It can be saving enough money to get a therapeutic massage or a fresh manicure. But self-care is also keeping your room clean to save yourself from a stressful morning or making time for a workout or journaling about how you really feel. Self-care is going to see a movie by yourself or reaching out to people when you’re feeling alone. Get the idea?

As Rachel’s client, her life coaching approach has taught me what it really means to care for myself. Now I’m going to answer some questions from fellow girls wanting a better understanding.

Dear Strong Chick,

How do I navigate feeling guilty about missing school for self-care? Ex. family time, medical reasons, mental health.

This is such an important topic to touch. High schoolers have SO much pressure on them to keep up with grades, participate in activities, have social connections, and still deal with their home life. Let me tell you something, I will never have perfect attendance. Ever. And I truly believe that I am a better person because of it. Just last week I took two days off to go visit family in Seattle. The memories and takeaways from seeing a new part of the world will resonate with me so much more than what I would have learned in school.

My mom died a year ago. I still struggle through the grieving process and because of that I have taken more mental health days than you could count. On those days, school would have just made my head spin even more. I’m not saying that you need that kind of trauma as an excuse to miss school, but giving your mind and body a rest from time to time is perfectly acceptable. I have only recently realized it is important to communicate to those around you. I used to think my teachers would hate me because I ‘wasn’t trying hard enough’ in their class, but the truth is that they are on your side. If you have a situation going on, ask your school counselor to let your teachers know. They are there to help you and see you succeed. Even my school counselor told me she wanted me to take a day off of school!

Dear Strong Chick,

Can simple things like not brushing your teeth in the morning or skipping breakfast mean you’re not taking care of yourself?

Absolutely! Self-care is there to ground you. Brushing your teeth in the morning gives you the cleanliness and confidence to go on with your day and by making time to eat breakfast, you are fueling your body and giving yourself the energy you need.

Dear Strong Chick,

   What are some ways to relieve anxiety/stress with self-care?

Self-care is one of the best tools you have! Here are some of my go-to’s:

  • Go on a walk to clear your head (at school I ask to go to the bathroom and take a few laps)

  • Instead of scrolling through your phone, read a book.

  • Use essentials oils or other scents are known to calm your nervous system

  • Make exercise a priority- regular movement will balance your stress levels and give you energy

  • Call a friend and talk it out

  • Write. I swear to god it works. Why else would I be doing this?

  • Do a facemask and listen to relaxing music

  • Use a planner or to-do list to get organized

  • Take 4 deep breathes, 3 seconds in, 3 seconds hold, and 3 seconds out

  • Get a message to release the stress and tension held in your body

Take care of yourself this week!

All the love,

Anna. x

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