Love yourself year-round with life balances

Happiness tips that can last longer than Valentine's chocolates


Brianne Finnell

Students receive heart messages from the Student Council on Valentine's Day.

Reu'Niya Chatman and Brianne Finnell

As various holidays such as Valentine’s Day come and go, anxiety, depression, and many other mental health issues arise for some individuals that rely too heavily on others for love, which is why it’s important to know how to provide self-care to oneself year-round. By loving oneself and with appropriate self-care, one shows that they love and take care of oneself at all times.

The first step to take towards self-care is taking care of yourself. Sometimes, people get so lost in trying to please others and make sure that everybody else is okay, that they tend to forget about themselves. It’s okay to be a little selfish and treat oneself once in a while, whether it’s splurging and shopping for an affordable self-gift, or treating oneself to a nice dinner. However, some individuals may become overly dependent on shopping or food to replace things they do not have. So be sure to keep the budget and food intake in check, experts said.

“Whenever I’m feeling down I like to go to the mall and shop,” said freshman Brooklee Waltrip, “I don’t shop for anything, in particular, I just shop for what I like and for what makes me feel good.”

Another thing good do to is to laugh. It may sound silly or childish, but it’s not. Some individuals may be too serious, some may get caught up in drama. It’s good just to take a step back from a situation and have a good laugh about it. After all, laughter is the key to happiness.

“I’m literally always smiling or laughing. Instead of being negative, I try to find the good in everything no matter what the situation,” said freshman Briley Bowen.

Also, it is good to take the time to disconnect from the Internet. Today, social media can become consumptive. Some individuals go so far as to only think about who has the most followers or how many likes one can get on a picture. That’s why it’s important to unplug. Put away electronics and go outside. By getting away from all the technology and going out for a minimum of 30 minutes not only increases physical fitness as well as happiness it also improves mental health.

“Social Media has a big impact on our youth nowadays. There are always hateful and negative things out there, and it really takes a toll on your mental health,” said Psychiatrist Carnika Donald, “That’s why I would recommend limiting how much screen time you have on a day-to-day basis.”

Another thing that contributes to physical health is diet. If all that is consumed is junk and bad foods one can expect a  negative output. Veggies, fruits, proteins, and pasta all make for a good meal and makes one feel good.

“Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death and to avoid heart disease you should eat right and exercise so you can maintain a healthy heart and weight,” said school nurse Melissa Withers. “Also you shouldn’t smoke or use nicotine products because those products destroy your body.”

Another idea is to start a compliments file. More often times than not, instead of finding the good in a situation, some only see the bad. So, whenever someone provides a compliment, write it down in a journal and keep it handy. Then, whenever one is feeling down or needs a booster, take a peek at that file and reflect on some of the nice things people have said. Student Council at the school gives hearts to students, noting and complimenting students with Valentine’s shaped paper hearts.

“It always makes me feel good to receive and give compliments because not only does it make me feel good but it also makes others feel good,” Bowen said.