Chronic stress and anxiety can wear you out, especially if you've had a tough start to the first week of the year, with post-holiday blues or the new wave of lockdowns setting in (for those in Ontario).
However, self-care can be a powerful remedy that restores your mind and body.
Try these self-care techniques to find relief for your stress:
1. Make your health a priority: You may have stress coming from multiple directions such as work, school, family, kids, neighbours, or others. However, it's important to establish your health as a top consideration. Find a balance between taking care of others and taking care of yourself.
2. Understand the fundamentals of self-care: Self-care is a conscious effort to put yourself first. It requires you to take time for activities that nourish and sustain your body, mind, and spirit.
When you make it a priority to take care of yourself, you build a lifestyle that focuses on healthy choices. Build self-care into your daily habits, such as eating a healthy breakfast and exercising.
3. Start with one healthy habit a day: If self-care isn't a normal part of your life, it may be difficult to get used to it. However, you can start with one small habit and you'll see positive changes.
By implementing one healthy habit each day, you'll begin your journey of taking better care of yourself.
The habit can be a tiny change, such as eating oatmeal for breakfast or having a salad for lunch. The key is to pick something small that is easy to do. Then, you can build from this foundation and add other habits. If you try too many activities at once, you're likely to get overwhelmed or discouraged.
4. Find your own path: It's easy to get caught up in the self-care practices that others use. However, it's more effective to find your own path to wellness.
Find the tips and habits that work best for your lifestyle. You may not have time to eat a healthy lunch or exercise every day. There are other ways to take care of yourself. Be willing to experiment with different ideas to figure out which self-care practices work well for you.
5. Continue growing: It's not enough to add one self-care habit and move on. Stress will continue to be a factor as long as you're on this planet. It's important to discover new self-care habits to alleviate your stress.
Over time, the stress may come from different directions. For example, if your job is going well, you may suddenly discover issues at home. If your family life is fine, you may be worried about getting laid off. You may feel overwhelmed at times and as if you're taking steps back.
Nevertheless, continue forward and make self-care a top priority. As your life changes, your self-care habits will also change. You might find that oatmeal for breakfast starts causing stomachaches, or injuries and prevent you from exercising every day.
Self-care can come from multiple channels. You can change things up and still find success. Self-care has an important role in the battle against stress.
It's a vital part of staying healthy and maintaining wellness.