Chronic stress and anxiety can wear you out. However, self-care can be a powerful remedy that restores your mind and body.

Try these self-care techniques to find relief for your stress:  

  1. Make your health a priority. You may have stress coming from multiple directions such as work, school, family, kids, neighbors, or others. However, it’s important to establish your health as a top consideration. Find a balance between taking care of others and taking care of yourself. Remember people in imminent airline incidents, when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling have to put one on them, before they can help ANYONE around them!
  2. Understand the fundamentals of self-care. Self-care is a conscious effort to put yourself first. It requires you to take time for activities that nourish and sustain your body, mind, and spirit. It is not selfish, but selfless. You cannot charge anyone else if your own batteries are dead or dying. You then become susceptible to illness.
    • When you make it a priority to take care of yourself, you build a lifestyle that focuses on healthy choices. Build self-care into your daily habits, such as eating a healthy breakfast and exercising.
  3. Start with one healthy habit a day. If self-care isn’t a normal part of your life, it may be difficult to get used to it. However, you can start with one small habit and you’ll see positive changes. Habits take two to four weeks to form and go from actions or motions we are going through to true habits.
    • By implementing one healthy habit each day, you’ll begin your journey of taking better care of yourself.
    • The habit can be a tiny change, such as eating oatmeal for breakfast or having a salad for lunch. The key is to pick something small that is easy to do. Then, you can build from this foundation and add other positive habits.
    • If you try too many activities at once, you’re likely to get overwhelmed or discouraged.
    • Do not neglect your mental state. Mental health is JUST as important as physical body health. Exercise can facilitate this and mental health may involve different modes.
    • Mental health can include meditation, reading, listening to music, journalling — positive things that may not necessarily align with physical exercise. They go hand-in-hand.
  4. Find your own path. It’s easy to get caught up in the self-care practices that others use. However, it’s more effective to find your own path to wellness.
    • Find the tips and habits that work best for your lifestyle. You may not have time to eat a healthy lunch or exercise every day. There are other ways to take care of yourself. Be willing to experiment with different ideas to figure out which self-care practices work well for you.
  5. Continue growing. It’s not enough to add one self-care habit and move on. Stress will continue to be a factor as long as you’re on this planet. It’s important to discover new self-care habits to alleviate your stress.
    • Over time, the stress may come from different directions. For example, if your job is going well, you may suddenly discover issues at home. If your family life is fine, you may be worried about getting laid off, being demoted, or receiving disciplinary actions.
    • You may feel overwhelmed at times and as if you’re taking steps back. Nevertheless, continue forward and make self-care a top priority. 
    • As your life changes, your self-care habits will also change. You might find that oatmeal for breakfast starts causing stomachaches, or injuries prevent you from exercising every day. Self-care can come from multiple channels. You can change things up and still find success.
    • Self-care does not have to conform to what anyone else says it should. It can be getting a pedicure or browsing a thrift-store or antique market, going to a concert, or getting a boba tea and sitting by yourself quietly. Self-care is VERY personal!

Self-care has an important role in the battle against stress. It’s a vital part of staying healthy and maintaining wellness.