Regardless of the source of your stress, learning ways to handle everything life throws at you is an essential part of what it means to be healthy. It’s undoubtedly hard to talk about self-care when your to-do list seems endless, but it’s still a crucial part of proper stress management.
Starting with the obvious but often forgotten part: no revolutionary stress-reducing activity will help you if you don’t take care of yourself on a regular basis. Even something as simple as getting enough sleep every night can’t be ignored.
It’s also worth asking what self-care exactly means to you. Self-improvement experts from Wealthy Gorilla advise starting by determining your goals and what you want to change the most. It might be limiting your screen time, nourishing and moving your body, learning to recognize your signs of stress, and picking up a new hobby like baking or solving crossword puzzles.
The experience of stress is universal and an inevitable part that comes with simply being alive. If you develop a healthy stress response, this skill will serve you well throughout your life. Below are some tips to help you not only make the necessary changes but also to maintain them.
Essential Self-Care Habits for Times of Stress
It can be easy to put your needs aside when you’re busy, but doing so will only make your stress levels increase even more, which will also negatively impact your productivity. Take time to care for yourself and reward yourself for doing so. The practice of self-care is about making your mental, emotional, and physical well-being a priority.
Make time for self-care by introducing it as a part of your routine. Look at your schedule and find 15–20 minutes each day just for yourself. Try putting this time at the end of the day when there are fewer distractions or at the beginning of the morning before your busy day picks up the pace.
Exercise has been shown time and again to relieve stress, improve moods, and increase energy levels. It does not have to be complicated, as just some simple stretching will make a noticeable difference. Another great idea is going for a long walk or on a bike ride.
However, if you really struggle to find the time or motivation to exercise, just take a few minutes to stretch your body during your day. This is as simple as taking a few deep breaths and stretching as far as you can. It might not feel like much, but this little bit of movement will make a difference.
Gratitude helps us remember what we have instead of focusing on what we lack or wish we had, and it also gives us a better perspective on the things that happen. Being grateful can make a huge difference in your life as it makes you feel more positive about yourself and your life as a whole, preventing or reducing stress and making things feel much better overall.
Make Time For Hobbies
Everyone needs a hobby, something they love doing that helps them relax and forget about the stresses of life. Hobbies give you a purpose; you don’t have to do anything overly complicated or expensive – just find something that makes you feel fulfilled.
Start with something small as a way to force yourself to make time for it in your schedule. Pick something that is either inexpensive or free, as the goal is to do it regularly and not just once in a while. Stress-reducing activities such as knitting or gardening can be excellent choices for anyone looking for a hobby that will help them stay active and healthy.
If you already have a hobby, find time for it and make it a daily or weekly habit.
Taking some stress management classes can be helpful if you want to learn techniques to deal with it better. If you feel you’re getting closer to burnout, you may want to consider classes to help de-stress naturally.
Some people prefer learning in groups while others learn better through individual practice, so take some time to decide which one works best for you. Look at some options available in your area or online. The latter is perfect if there are no in-person classes offered near you or you prefer more flexibility, but they require more self-discipline.
One way to deal with stress is by talking about it with someone that you trust. Having a person who listens without judging helps you get out your frustrations and have an outlet to express your worries. It can also allow you to get some perspective on them and recognize the source of the issue to work towards solving some.
The more you talk about what you’re going through with someone else, the more likely you are to get your feelings out in the open for others to hear them and understand where you’re coming from.
However, it’s essential not to discuss any issues with other people without their consent. Moreover, even if they’re close friends or family members, it may be best to speak with a professional counselor instead of confiding in someone who isn’t trained in dealing with these kinds of things and could cause more harm than good.
Stress affects all of us at one time or another in our lives. It’s vital to learn how to manage stress, so it does not become overwhelming and so you can live your life to the fullest without letting anxiety get in the way. In the end, nothing will change if you don’t take some time out to look at your life and determine what things you need to change to eliminate as much stress as possible from your life – or simply deal with it better.