Easy Self-Care Practices That Can Help Soothe Stress

 Easy Self-Care Practices That Can Help Soothe Stress

Did you know that 84% of Americans experience some type of stress? With our world still recovering from the pandemic in addition to a constant influx of negative news reports and social media posts, it’s no wonder we have been feeling overwhelmed. If you suffer from regular anxiety and stress, you might feel as though you need to tough it out—especially when everyone around you is also dealing with their own personal stressors and making it through “trying times.”

While stress is an ordinary part of life, it doesn’t have to be your new normal. Your stress might be caused by a sudden life change or tragedy, such as a divorce, an illness, or a death in the family. That change doesn’t necessarily have to be negative, either—positive changes in geographical location, a new job, or a new relationship can also cause a lot of stress. As routined human beings, adjusting to change takes us a while, especially if that change is out of our control—or if there’s too much within our control. You may also experience stress regarding more daily activities, asking yourself questions like, “Should I be worried about what I saw on the news this morning? Did I complete that assignment correctly at work? Should I be making more money? Are my kids okay at school?”

If questions like these feel familiar to you, you’re probably dealing with daily stress. It’s important to pay attention to the state of your stress and manage it before it worsens. Stressing about the state of the world, the health of your family members, and your performance at work shows high levels of compassion and responsibility, but too much can take a toll on your mental health. That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself and find self-care rituals and practices that work for you on a daily basis. Like author and TED Talk speaker Anne Lamott says, “When we care for ourselves as our very own beloved—with naps, healthy food, clean sheets, a lovely cup of tea—we can begin to give in wildly generous ways to the world, from abundance.” Here are just a few ways to give yourself the gentle love and self-care that you deserve.

Practice Quiet Self-Reflection

If you feel like your mind is always racing with too many thoughts, it may help to sit down by yourself and sort through them—or clear your mind completely, depending on your preferred method. Anthony Puopolo, CMO of REX MD recommends a quiet, peaceful ritual that will give you space to process each day.

“Some of us are introverts and some of us are extroverts, but no matter how much we like to socialize, it’s important to find those quiet, private spaces where we can unwind every day. Maybe you’re into meditation and yoga. Maybe you need to go spend some time in nature and birdwatch or listen to your favorite music. Whatever your body and mind need at this moment, that’s what you have to do. Our schedules are so busy that we forget to make time for ourselves, and that’s why it’s so important to block out time to do nothing during your week. I find that keeping a journal and writing down things you’re grateful for can also help you reflect on the best parts of your week rather than focusing on the negative.”

Take Care of Your Appearance

It may seem counterintuitive to try something new if you’re already feeling stressed from changes in your daily routine, but doing something different that makes you feel good might be just what you need. Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer of Paradigm Peptides suggests dressing up or switching your style.

“I don’t need a special excuse to dress up or try out a new makeup look. The excuse is that you deserve it. And the funny thing about confidence is that it’s catching. If you look good, you’ll feel good, and people will notice. Your coworkers and friends will feel more comfortable being bold, being themselves. Even if you don’t feel confident and you don’t feel great, you gotta fake it ‘till you make it. It’s easier than it sounds though—we all have that one outfit that makes us feel sexy, those shoes that we love. I try to constantly be someone that I would want to spend time with—because I spend a lot of time with myself, and talking down to yourself is only going to make you feel worse.”

As psychologist Amy Cuddy says, “If you feel like you shouldn’t be somewhere: Fake it. Do it not until you make it, but until you become it.”

Nourish Your Body

If you usually spend your week staring at a computer screen, it might help to go outside for a walk, exercise, or cook up a new recipe that’s good for you. Asker A Ahmed, Director at iProcess, recommends taking care of your body in order to reduce stress and clear your mind.

“If I know I’m going to have a busy day at work, I feel even worse when I don’t have time to exercise or eat right. We all say we’re going to block out time to go to the gym or go for a jog when we can, but if that’s something that’s intimidating for you, it’s okay—I would suggest starting out small by doing some jumping jacks or stretches every morning. Something is better than nothing. The same goes for food—rather than dumping all the food in your fridge and buying healthy foods you might not even eat, you can start by just trying to eat a healthier breakfast. We always say we’re going to wait until we’re less busy or until we’re less stressed to exercise and eat right, but to take a page from Nike, just do it. Seriously. It will make you feel better in the long run and deciding you’re going to do it is half the battle.”

Spoil Yourself

Treating yourself to a spa day is practically the definition of “self-care.” Drake Ballew, CEO of Practice Health, recommends creating an at-home spa with all of the essentials.

“Well, I always think about how when we were younger and were well-behaved, our parents would reward us with a little toy or treat. What happened to that? I think we’re even more well-behaved now! One of my favorite forms of self-care is spoiling myself by drawing a warm bath and using all of my favorite beauty and skincare products. And if you’re going to commit to a spa day, you have to go all the way—don’t use those products sparingly. Make that spa day all about you—and remember to turn off your phone or other distractions.”

Self-care comes in many different forms, so it may help to try out different rituals until you find one that works for you and helps soothe your daily stress. As long as you remember that it’s just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of your family and friends, you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier you.

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