Written by KURA Writer- Rylee Nelson
Engaging in self-care practices can help you manage and reduce stress levels. It’s essential to designate a daily time frame for self-care activities. Your chosen self-care routine should be based entirely on your interests and what you enjoy doing. Although many self-care activities promote health and well-being, it’s crucial to recognize that not all self-care practices do. For example, if you overindulge in food and alcohol, self-isolate, ignore problems, or overwork yourself. These actions are considered harmful forms of self-care and only lead to short-term satisfaction and long-term negative consequences. Here are some examples of healthy self-care practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine.
- Relaxation techniques:
● Tai chi
● Gentle stretching
● Deep breathing
● Spa treatments
● Warm baths or showers
These techniques encourage relaxation and promote good physical, emotional, and mental health.
- Prioritize sleep: Getting 7–9 hours of sleep every night can help improve mood, cognitive function, weight management, and lowers risk of chronic health conditions (Healthline, 2023). Avoid using electronics or consuming caffeine before bed to enhance the quality of your sleep.
- Connect with others: Social connection can reduce stress and feelings of isolation. You can socialize and connect with family, friends, pets, coworkers, or strangers. These connections can be made in person, over the phone, or online through social media (AHA, 2021).
- Treat yourself: Engage in a hobby that interests you, such as gardening, crafting, playing music, photography, cooking, baking, playing with puzzles, drawing, reading, knitting, or journaling.
Getting informed about self-care practices is the first step to successfully reducing and managing stress levels. The next step is actively incorporating some of these suggestions into your daily routine. The motivation to take action will come from your interest in the chosen activities and your health goals. Select one or two practices that interest you and are realistic for you to complete daily. Next, check in with yourself, and don’t push yourself too hard. Be sure to ask yourself, what activities make me feel relaxed? How can I incorporate these activities into my daily schedule? What are the causes of my stress? Reflect on your needs and let self-care help you consistently be your best self.
Fight stress with the power of connection. www.heart.org. (2021, October 29). Retrieved March 14, 2023, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/fight-stress-with-the-power-of-connection
Roland, J. (2023, February 1). Sleep calculator: How much sleep do you need? Healthline. Retrieved March 14, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep/sleep-calculator