Journal staff's preferred self-care practices

Our favourite ways to destress and practice self-love

Some of the Journal staff's favourite self-care practices.
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We all know of a million stressors that can overwhelm students at university. Something less discussed, however, are the many ways students can practice self-care to achieve emotional balance. 

In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, The Journal asked its staff to share some of their favourite ways to destress. 

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“My favourite self-care practice involves a healthy combination of a Pitbull-loaded playlist and running along the Kingston waterfront. I understand this could be characterized as me literally running from my problems, but I think it’s actually the furthest thing from that.

Getting my legs moving is a therapeutic experience—I get to out-race the bubble of anxiousness stewing and push some clean air into my lungs. It might just be the view of the lake, but I've worked through more problems than I can count while crossing the LaSalle Causeway.”

—Matt Scace, Sports Editor

“When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I typically recharge with an at-home spa day. I use the terms ‘spa’ and ‘day’ loosely; most of the time, I settle for a long, hot shower and experiment with all of the fancy skincare products I otherwise neglect. 

Although I love a good do-it-yourself project, I’d much rather lay in bed with face cream on than mash bananas for an effortful, YouTube-inspired face mask.”

—Ally Mastantuono, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

“My best, but sometimes least favourite, form of self-care is getting my s—t together. My anxiety is usually made so much worse by impeding deadlines, and results in me not doing a single thing out of overwhelming stress. Occasionally, I have to force myself to check a few things off my bucket list and hold back the tide of anxiety so I can relax afterward.”

—Tegwyn Hughes, Copy Editor

“I generally don’t subscribe to the popular ‘laughter is the best medicine’ doctrine used for decades to employ clowns in hospitals. But I do find watching funny videos is an easy way to summon positive emotions in times of stress.  

I have a YouTube playlist saved on my computer that consists of short videos which consistently make me happy, including a bizarre video of animated characters fake-auditioning for The Voice  and any talk show appearance Kristen Wiig has ever made. The playlist, which totals half an hour in length, often puts me in a good mood and allows me to later evaluate what’s going on in my life without immediately focusing on the negative.”

—Josh Granovsky, Lifestyle Editor

“Unlike essays or articles, writing in a journal doesn’t require the hassle of planning or revising.  Whether it’s scribbling down what’s worrying me at the moment or a list of things to be grateful for, journaling helps put life into perspective, and remembering that all I have to do to succeed is take one step at a time.”

—Zier Zhou, Editorials Illustrator

“For me, self-care equates to being in tune with myself and how I’m feeling with certain points of stress in my life. It’s helpful for me to start the day by lighting some incense and running through a morning yoga flow, which I follow with a meditation session. This practice keeps me grounded and helps start even the most stressful days with a clear head.”

—Jasnit Pabla, Copy Editor

“While spending the first few minutes of my day scrolling through my Instagram feed is tempting, I’ve been trying to swap that habit with something better for me. 

I now start my mornings blasting some upbeat music—usually the Mamma Mia! soundtrack. Jamming to 'Super Trouper' before my classes really takes the edge off academia.”

—Amelia Rankine, Video Editor

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