We all know how stressful life can be, so managing stress is necessary. There’s work, family, friends, and everything in between. It can be hard to find time to take care of ourselves. But it’s important to remember that self-care is essential to managing stress.
We can do many things to reduce our stress levels and promote healthy self-care habits proactively. We’ve divided self-care into a few categories: physical, sensory, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Read on for some practices you can easily incorporate into your life today!
4 Best Paths to Managing Stress With Self-Care
1. Physical self-care
One way to reduce stress is through physical activity and engagement with our bodies. This can include things like:
- A regular, challenging exercise routine maintains accountability while pushing you to improve your performance. Keeping things consistent gives you the chance to see your improvements.
- Spontaneous dance: let go, have fun, and get those endorphins flowing!
- Learning a new yoga flow: pushing yourself to learn new poses and flows can be mentally and physically stimulating.
- Yard work: It had to be said! Getting outside and moving your body can be great for your mental health, and cultivating a space of your own can be incredibly satisfying.
2. Sensory self-care
Another way to reduce stress is through engaging with our immediate sensory experiences. Try things like:
- Hot and cold showers: The contrast between hot and cold water can help to stimulate blood flow and improve circulation. Nordic people have been doing this for years in the form of saunas and ice baths!
- Trying out new breathing techniques: Focused breathing is a surprisingly sensory experience. Different techniques can have different effects on our bodies and minds.
- Feeling the sun: Vitamin D is essential for our health and getting some sun can help improve our mood. Even more than that is the sensation of warmth on our skin.
- Listening to the natural world: Many studies show how listening to nature sounds can improve our focus and mental well-being.
3. Emotional self-care
Another important aspect of self-care is emotional care, which involves acceptance and mastery over our emotional well-being. Tips for developing this include:
- Journaling: This can be a great way to connect our emotions and healthily process them.
- Talking seriously to a friend: letting others know how we’re feeling is important for maintaining relationships. It can also help have someone who understands what we’re going through.
- Talking casually to a friend: This can help take our minds off things and remind us about the people in our lives.
- Cultivating an art practice: Art-making can be a great way to express our emotions and can be very therapeutic. It can also help us take our minds off things, distracting us from our stressors. Sometimes, when feeling overwhelmed or stressed, we need a break from explicitly thinking about our problems. Art can provide that outlet, but often in a non-escapist way.
4. Mental and spiritual self-care
Taking care of our mental health is important for overall stress management. Some things we can do to take care of our mental health include:
- Meditation: Meditation can help to improve focus, concentration, and overall mental well-being. One of the main benefits of meditation is that it helps to reduce the importance of present worries. Each becomes like the last and the next, and so on; one worry is not more important than another. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Nature walks: Getting out into nature can help to improve our mood and focus. One of the benefits of nature walks is that they can help to reduce rumination–a repetitive thinking pattern that often occurs in people with anxiety and depression. Nature also provides feelings of both wonder and perspective, which can certainly help alleviate feelings of daily stress.
- Marijuana: The effects of cannabis are highly dependent on the individual. Some use it to reduce stress and anxiety, while others enjoy its creative, stimulating properties for a day-long wind down from their busy lives! One way you can experience these benefits is by consuming bite-sized Delta 8 THC gummies – they’re small enough that one serving won’t send your mood crashing too quickly but still provide plenty in terms of marijuana’s therapeutic potential
- Fondly looking back into your past: Looking back on our past can often be a source of comfort. It can be nice to revisit old memories, especially the happy ones. Our possessions can serve as physical anchors to positive moments in our lives. Having these things around can help us to feel more positive and less stressed.
- Prayer: For many people, prayer can be a source of comfort and peace. It can help us to remember that there is something larger than ourselves and our problems.
Finding your peace
Stress doesn’t have to control our lives. Self-care is important for managing stress and maintaining our overall health and well-being.
There are many different forms of self-care, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to find what works for you and make self-care a part of your routine. Try out different things and see what works for you!