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Self-Care Tips To Manage Stress

Self-care often takes a backseat when we’re anxious, busy, or in the middle of a pandemic.

But creating a self-care routine is one of the healthiest ways to deal with stress and restore balance to your hectic life.

That’s why we’re sharing our best self-care tips to manage stress levels in this guide. You’ll learn why it’s so necessary and what it means to create a self-care routine you can actually stick to.

 

Man standing outside breathing in the fresh air

First, What is Self-Care Anyway?

The idea of “self-care” has only been around since the early 2000s.

The term was coined by two researchers, Beauchamp and Childress, in their enlightening 2001 study. According to them:

“Self-care has been defined as providing adequate attention to one’s own physical and psychological wellness.”

It means taking care of your higher needs even if you’re stressed or busy with life’s demands.

And despite taking this time for yourself, you’re not the only one who will reap the rewards of your self-care routine.

 

Group of people standing together in nature during sunset

The Top Benefits of Self-Care

One body of research found that engaging in self-care regularly helped study participants lighten both perceived and physical stresses in their life.

As a result, participants reported higher engagement levels and a better quality of life. Bonus: The more self-care activities these study participants practiced, the better they felt.

Many people feel selfish for caring about themselves, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Research conducted at Harvard points out that when you engage in self-care, you’re better able to serve and help others afterward.

Feeling better and making the people around you feel better are two major reasons why everyone should adopt a self-care routine -- no matter how busy your schedule may be.

Yet that’s often easier said than done, right?

 

Weekly planner

So How Do You Create and Adopt a Self-Care Routine?

Even though everyone should adopt a self-care routine, we all lead very different lives.

What helps destress one person may give another person anxiety. So the best advice is to listen to your body.

If you’re feeling sluggish and unmotivated, scheduling more fun activities will give your body a fresh burst of energy.

On the other hand, if your schedule’s jam-packed with chores and to-dos, penciling in time to rest may be more beneficial for your well-being.

That’s why it’s best to have a mix of both activities.

The only rule?

Be consistent.

Schedule your self-care time like you would any other date or meeting.

Set daily, weekly, and monthly self-care goals for yourself. Make them as long or as short as your schedule will allow. And don’t cheat yourself out of this time!

 

Woman going for a walk

 5 Simple Self-Care Tips You Can Implement Today

These self-care ideas will help you deal with stress and enjoy life more:

#1. Go for a Walk in Nature

Spending time outdoors is an excellent way to clear your mind, destress, and recharge.

Just 15 minutes outside is enough to boost your vitamin D levels, which is an important nutrient for:

  • Suppressing inflammation
  • Decreasing your risk of serious health conditions
  • Lowering obesity rates
  • Combating depression

Going for a daily walk is more powerful for your physical and mental health than most people realize.

So go on a quick stroll around your neighborhood in the AM, during your lunch break, or after work to snag all these benefits and squeeze in some self-care at the same time.

 

#2. Treat Yourself to an At-Home Spa Experience

At-home spa treatments aren’t just for ladies; men can score all the same self-care perks without ever leaving the house.

To elevate your experience at home, try to:

Soak in an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts help relieve anxiety, stress, depression, and low moods. They also help relax muscles in your shoulders, neck, back, and head to alleviate headaches and tension.

Apply a facial mask. Besides unveiling more glowing skin, spending 15 minutes with a natural mask on your face will give you time to meditate without distractions.

Diffuse essential oils. Different essential oils will give you a pick-me-up or help you wind down and destress. Citrus scents are more uplifting, for example, while lavender will ease your mind.

Add a few drops to your diffuser when you’re relaxing, working, or doing chores for subtle wafts of happiness throughout your day.

 

Woman meditating in nature

#3. Meditate, Stretch, or Practice Yoga

Sometimes the best self-care tips are the ones that allow you to tune out the world and tune into yourself.

As uncomfortable as it may be at first, practicing meditation or yoga can help you manage your stress levels and listen to your body.

You’ll focus on your breathing, ignore whatever’s going on in the world, and exhale any negative energy you may be holding on to.

This is a great way to give your body and mind a natural reset and reboot.

Stretching after a long day of sitting can also help you feel good both mentally and physically.

Check out a free meditation or yoga app, or look for free videos online. Then practice as little as 5-10 minutes per day to feel a difference.

#4. Go to Bed Earlier

Another pro-level stress management tip: don’t let your day keep you up at night.

Getting enough sleep is essential for recharging your body and mind. Unfortunately, too many of us don’t give our sleep hygiene enough attention.

If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep, avoid caffeine later in the day and turn off your devices at least one hour before bed.

You should also try journaling. Braindump whatever’s on your mind so when it’s time for bed, you’re ready to go.

Getting just one extra hour of sleep each night will do wonders for your mental and physical health.

#5. Dive Into a New (or Neglected) Hobby

Devoting time to a hobby or activity you love will give you something fun to look forward to when you’re stressed or anxious.

Diving into your hobby will also provide a break from your worrisome thinking, and let you fully concentrate on something that brings you genuine happiness.

 

Man relaxing in the grass during sunset

Try These Self-Care Tips to Manage Stress Today

These self-care ideas will help you better manage your stress levels in 15 minutes or less. Squeeze in this quick practice, and you’ll earn dividends for your mental health in the short- and long-term.

Trust us, your body and mind will thank you -- and so will everyone else around you.

 

Resources:
https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2014/04/corner
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6080382/ 
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/self-care-4-ways-nourish-body-soul-2017111612736
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951/

 

Author: Devan Ciccarelli 
Email: devan@behappynothangry.com
Instagram/Facebook Group: @behappynothangry/Be Happy Not Hangry
Website: www.behappynothangry.com

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