Whether we’re going through a pandemic, making a big life decision, or even just trying to get through the day there’s always something that lurks over us, stress. Stress can fall upon you without warning, it can come on strong and stick around. You must set yourself up for success, when you make self-care a habit, you are strengthening your ability to get through stressful situations and even use it to your advantage.
To start your journey to better self-care and reduce stressed levels, first, acknowledge that stress happens. When your life and your desires don’t match up, stress can set in. By practicing self-care, you are standing up to these negative emotions by showing yourself compassion and treating yourself as a loving friend or family member would treat you. Try practicing these habits daily and notice how much better you are able to handle stress. Follow through with these tips and you’ll begin to reap more benefits than you can imagine!
Engage in Physical Activity
Sometimes when you are stressed, physical activity is the last thing you want to do. This is the opposite of what self-care looks like. Pick an activity that you enjoy, that gets your blood pumping, and make it a weekly habit! Join a recreational sport or a challenge at a gym. Create more avenues where you can find success outside of work and family. It’s important for you to enjoy what you’re doing! You will begin to find more ways to make yourself feel good and the activity will also help you be more healthy and positive.
Pick a Bedtime
Our bodies work on an internal clock. As you practice falling asleep at the same time each night, your body will begin to learn when to get tired, and when to fall asleep. Having more than one night of disrupted sleep can lead to poor brain function and correlates with higher stress levels. This habit will ensure that you get consistent good rest.
Express your Feelings:
Your brain is at work non-stop. When you are not focused on a task, you are pumping out thoughts left and right! Start a private blog, open a journal, find some platform and begin writing your thoughts down. Free yourself. Make it a habit, write in the morning or at night. When you write, you reflect on what you want to focus on, rather than the millions of thoughts that cross your mind. You will be able to understand your thoughts, emotions, aspirations, and fears much better.
Purchase a bottle you can easily drink out of, such as a bottle with a straw built into it. Reach for your bottle often enough until it becomes a habit throughout the day. As your body uses up water through bodily waste, sweating, and breathing, you’ll need to replenish its supply as much as you can. Water will prevent dehydration and improve your brain’s ability to function, both of which helps reduce stress levels.
This might be the hardest one but honestly “you are your own worst critic” is a true statement for most. Acknowledge the messages you send yourself especially when you don’t hit a goal or perform to your standards. Learn to follow that criticism with forgiveness. Accept where you are and the reality of the situation that you’re dealing with and then practice patience and kindness with yourself. Transform that criticism into goals that will help you perform better when the opportunity arises again!