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The Mass Media

Advice with the Arts Editor: Building a maintenance routine

A student applies skincare products as part of their daily routine. Photo from The Mass Media Archives.

Maintenance routines have been trending all over social media, but what exactly is a maintenance routine? It seems like an over-the-top, elaborate self-care routine, but it goes a little deeper than that. Think of it as a way to keep feeling like the best version of yourself. Imagine going into public and many of your insecurities have just disappeared. That’s basically the goal.

To build a maintenance routine, you first need to brainstorm on what makes you the most confident. Many people have the misconception that this just includes physical traits. Yes, that is part of it, but also think of the mental traits that make you feel your best. 

I personally feel my best when I am knowledgeable about what is happening in the world. This includes being up-to-date on news stories and social issues that matter to me. I prefer not to get my news from social media because there is so much misinformation online that it’s hard to keep track of what’s really happening. Also, when my social media feed is drowned in sad news stories, it affects my mental health.

Instead, I signed up for a daily newsletter geared towards women, called TheDailySkimm, that sends the major headlines directly to my inbox. This way, I can dedicate time in my day to just going through news stories, and the negative stories typically don’t bleed into my day the way it does on social media. 

I also subscribe to The New York Times through the free subscription for UMass Boston students found on the Healey Library’s “E-Resources” section on their website. I like to browse through a few different news sources to get a wider range of opinions. I usually go through news stories every day or every other day. 

When it comes to social issues, I have been reading for 10 minutes a day from the nonfiction book of my choice. I keep it at 10 minutes because on my busy days, I can still manage 10 minutes. This way I stay informed, and when I want to talk to someone about the news, I can feel confident that I know what I’m talking about. 

Confidence can come from anywhere, so really take the time to think about where your confidence comes from. I also feel better when I smell nice, so I am sure to shower every other day and use my lotion and perfume when I get out of the shower. Small things add up when it comes to confidence. 

I like when my hair is shiny and strong, so I oil it once a week with coconut oil. Some people like when they have their nails done, so they make sure to either do their nails or go to the nail salon every two weeks. If you feel best after you get your hair done, make sure to make the appointment every six weeks to feel your best. This feels like common sense to some, but for others, this might not cross their mind, especially for those with mental health issues.

If you suffer from depression or other mental health issues, do the best in your power to feel your best. Take note of the small things that make you feel better. It could be making coffee in the morning, taking a bath with lots of candles and soaps, or even just putting on a nice outfit. Some of these feel unmanageable when you’re depressed, but just figure out what works best for you. Self care is a personal journey. Personally, I know I feel worse after spending hours on TikTok, so I set an app limit on my phone that will lock me out of TikTok after a certain amount of time. 

Maintenance routines can seem extensive based on the videos on social media, but you can customize a routine just for you that makes you feel your best. That’s what a maintenance routine is all about. Confidence.

About the Contributor
Rena Weafer, Arts Editor