With so much to do and so many responsibilities it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves. While it’s hard to put yourself first when you have so many other priorities, self-care is an important aspect of stress management. Self-care can improve your physical and emotional health. Certain types of self-care can trigger the relaxation response which can prevent chronic stress from damaging your health. Remembering that your needs are important makes you feel good about yourself and can contribute to long term feelings of well-being. Most importantly, people who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves are in danger of deeper levels of unhappiness, low self-esteem, and feelings of resentment. Constantly taking care of others puts you at risk of getting burned out from all of the giving. Taking time to care for yourself regularly can make you a better caretaker for others.

There are many types of self-care. Here are some basic ways to take care of yourself that will keep you functioning well and ready for life’s challenges:

Get Enough Sleep. Lack of sleep impairs your ability to handle stress, be productive and function properly. If you can’t get enough sleep at night, try a power nap!

Maintain Proper Nutrition. Poor diet can actually make you more vulnerable to stress. Eat healthy, take Vitamin D, Fish Oil & Probiotics. Maintaining good health is especially important in stressful times.

Exercise Regularly. This is good for you both physically and mentally. It provides and outlet for stress and releases endorphins– which increase your feelings of well-being.

Maintain Social Support. Friends pick you up, provide advice and insight, and help you have fun. Cultivate supportive friendships and maybe expand your social circle!
Find Hobbies. Doing something purely for enjoyment is important and hobbies can distract you from stress and relieve tension.

Pamper Yourself. Take a long bubble bath or go to the spa. Refresh, rejuvenate and ready yourself to take on the world.

Keep your Mind Sharp. Keeping your mind sharp and alert helps you to take on and solve life’s problems and stressors. Do the daily crossword or find an app with daily brain games and challenges.

Have the Right Attitude. Much of what you experience in life can feel more or less stressful depending on your point of view. Maintain positive thought patterns and look at things from an optimistic point of view.

Process Your Emotions. Don’t keep things bottled up! It’s healthier to listen to your feelings, process them and understand them. Feelings are “messengers” that tell you when something isn’t right.

You can’t always control the circumstances that life throws at you, but you can control how well you take care of yourself. Taking proper care of your mind, body and spirit keeps you in optimal shape for handling whatever life brings!