The average high school student is often burdened with a plethora of stresses that can take a heavy toll on their mental and physical health. Self-care routines, which exist in a variety of forms, are one way teenagers can mitigate their stress. Having a self-care routine means taking action in a way that benefits one’s well-being. According to the National Library of Medicine, regularly engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce stress and increase energy levels.
Senior Laney Brackett (she/her)
Each day after school, Brackett clears her head by going for an hour-and-a-half swim at Columbia Athletic Club. Swimming is her favorite form of self-care. Brackett believes it both to be a good distraction and a dose of healthy exercise. It provides her with a sense of productivity and feels rewarding.
Once finished with her swim, Brackett takes a long shower and then turns on her eucalyptus oil diffuser. Finally, she’ll unwind by either watching TV or scrolling through her phone.
“I think that making sure you have at least an hour or a little bit of time carved out for yourself helps to just keep you more balanced in your life and keep your mental health also well,” said Brackett.
Junior Nadia Teng (she/her)
After Teng arrives home from school, she likes to listen to music while doing homework. The homework load takes her six to seven hours; her favorite artist, BIBI, effectively gets her through the time.
“It’s important because school can stress everyone out, and self-care is a time where you can stop worrying about your school work,” she said.
Teng’s goal is to read at least 30 minutes before bed. She is currently reading “If You Could See the Sun” by Anne Liang. Teng ends the night with her nighttime skincare routine, which consists of cleanser, serum and moisturizer. In the morning, her skincare routine is the same, with the addition of SPF.
Self-care helps Teng balance her stress from school by allotting time to activities that benefit her overall wellness, and she recommends others practice self-care as well.
Sophomore Julius Sidow (he/him)
“[Self-care] is important to your mind, and it keeps you more focused. If you don’t have self-care, then your mind is cluttered.”
Every morning after Sidow wakes up and every night before bed, Sidow takes five minutes out of his day to partake in his skincare routine. He begins by rinsing his face, then uses Cerave cleanser, followed by Cerave moisturizer. To finish his routine, Sidow sprays on Versace cologne. He noted that since beginning his routine, he’s seen a noticeable improvement in terms of his skin health and mental health.
Freshman Elaina Dumaliang (she/her)
Dumaliang enjoys playing music as loud as possible while showering as a form of self-care. On average, she spends up to 1.5 hours a day in the bathroom, engaging in her unique self-care routine.
“I can’t shower in silence. It’s weird to shower in silence. I use this time to just be by myself and not worry about the problems in my life,” said Dumaliang.
In the scalding hot shower, she cranks the volume to the maximum and blasts Taylor Swift on her speaker. Her favorite song by the artist is “New Romantics”.
“It just lifts my mood each time,” she said.
After the shower, Dumaliang concludes with her hair routine, which takes about forty minutes. She says this is because hair takes a long time to blow dry.
“My hair is really thick and there’s a lot of it, too,” Dumaliang said.
Showering helps Dumaliang feel refreshed and relaxed. She considers it an everyday necessity.