Introvert Friendly Saint Self Care Guide: Summoning Serenity  

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This is the most serene place I know of, it’s the backyard of my parents’ place in South Haven, Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Heine) 

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Serenity is viewed as a learned, positive emotion of inner peace that can be sustained. It is a spiritual concept that decreases perceived stress and improves physical and emotional health.” As I’ve gotten older, I have come to realize that I will always find something to stress about. I’m a naturally anxious, overthinking person, and unfortunately, I have wasted a lot of time in my head. However, I have been working hard at being conscious with my mental energy. It’s not realistic to assume that I can let everything roll off my shoulder, I’m a “feeler”. Instead of moping in the anxious worrying, I’m practicing the compartmentalization of the feeling and summoning serenity to help me cope. 

I’m the biggest fan of being realistic. As someone with severe ADHD, it can be hard to rely on myself for long-term, extensive habits. For example, I can’t get myself to sit down and traditionally meditate. For now, I meditate by taking a double-inhale, single-exhale deep breath, and listening to classical/instrumental music while I do homework, drive, sleep, etc. Another way I like to bring myself back to equilibrium is my environment, specifically my room. If my room is a mess, it messes with my mental health even more. I have been working on making my bed more because it truly makes me happy to look at, as well as making sure the lighting is aligned with my preferences. Small factors like that really affect my mental energy, and I’m doing my best to preserve it!  

Aisha’s gaming set up in her room, featuring a hand-painted canvas above her monitor! (Photo courtesy of Aisha Alvi).  

How do other people summon serenity into their life? Aisha Alvi has her own favorite ways to destress. “Whenever I have a stressful day ahead of me, or homework, I usually spend time doing self-care like playing video games. When I’m playing, I feel my stress decompressing and I’m able to put everything to the side in the moment. I also love to do face masks, I’m always trying different ones that target what I’m trying to improve, and I love doing my nails. If I’m on break where I have an extended amount of free time, I love to paint and cook”.  When interviewing Aisha, I loved the advice she gave, as well as her outlook mindset on stress. “I’ve always been a “everything happens at the right time, at the right place, for the right reasonings” kind of person ever since high school. Some advice that I would give to someone who has a hard time balancing time and stress is to intentionally take time to take breaks. When I have 20 assignments, I know that if I keep stressing, I won’t get it done. Most of the time, I assess if the stress is worth ruining my happiness and I take care of myself before I dive into stress.” 

I love forms of media that help my mental health at the same time. Aisha recommends Raven Elyse for inspiration. “I look up to her as inspiration because she drives my creativity and motivates me to work on things even in my free time that benefits my happiness and makes my time more worthy”. It’s so interesting that when I am wanting serenity, I listen to instrumental music only because it doesn’t distract me. Aisha uses music to find peace as well! A few of my favorite artists that really help ease any anxiety or stress are Drake and Frank Ocean. Shuffle and destress with her Night Vibes Playlist! 

If you take anything away from this, it’s that I hope you invest in yourself. Make the small little changes that make you happy. Find a new artist or playlist that helps you get through the week. Take a deep breath (or five) and reset yourself. Preserve your mental energy. Redesign your space to help you simply exist better. Take the stress and summon serenity. 

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