Stress sucks, doesn’t it? And what makes it worse is that, to some degree, it’s unavoidable. We all have to work, take care of our homes, take care of family, deal with neighbors and all the other sources of stress that we don’t even realize cause us stress.
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.
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.
If you’re already feeling sick, exhausted, overwhelmed, or other physical, mental or emotional symptoms that indicate you’re either already overextended or getting close to a breaking point, put yourself and your health first. Say no to others so you can get yourself back into balance.
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. 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.
This means self-care is generally preventive, not reactive, action. It’s what you do to keep things in check, rather than just trying to get back on track once the train has gone off the rails.
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. By implementing one healthy habit each week, 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 habits.
If you try too many activities at once, you’re likely to get overwhelmed or discouraged. That’s why it’s important to give each habit about a week on its own before you add another one. If you know you struggle with creating and keeping habits, you might even wait a couple of weeks before adding a new one.
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. What works wonders for one person can be a complete waste or even annoying to another. If something someone else does appeals to you, feel free to try it, but don’t get caught up in what others do or what you “should” do.
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.
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. Be willing to add new habits or replace old ones that aren’t working anymore.
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.
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 has an important role in the battle against stress. It’s a vital part of staying healthy and maintaining wellness.
Wendy Miller is a meditation teacher, single mom coach & writer. She helps moms use mindfulness, meditation & self-care to create a calm & happy life. She lives in Florida with her two sons and enough pets for a zoo.
Want more? You can also sign up for her newsletter where she offers more insights, tips, tricks, advice, and information to help single moms find purpose, creativity, passion, and peace.
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