I call these beginner self-care skills, but if you are able to master them you are ahead of most of the world population. Not kidding. While these self-care skills will help you to manage already existing stress, they are most effective if you make them part of your every day life. If they become part of your regular routine, you will start to preemptively knock out stress.
- Breathe. I don't mean taking in air to stay alive. I mean really learning how to use your breath to calm your mind and relax your body. If you are new to meditation, start simply, and just notice your breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Next start to count while you breath - in for 4 seconds, out for 4 seconds. Repeat this for at least 5 minutes.
- Get some shut-eye. If you are going to become proficient at self-care, you must learn to prioritize sleep. Everyone requires a different amount of sleep to feel rested during the day, so figure out how much you need and kindly give yourself the required daily dose.
- Eat. Seriously, hanger is not cute. Your body needs a certain amount of nutrients and calories to function (and be nice to people). Eat balanced meals. Stash high protein snacks in your bag, desk, car, wherever so that you have access to some energy when you need it.
- Have limits. You are not limitless. I know you have things to do, places to go, money to make, dreams to pursue. As a self-carer in progress, start getting to know your limits and practice setting boundaries. FOMO and being overly-productive can increase your stress levels, and eventually harm your health.
- Find pleasure. What feels good to you? Is it coffee with your best friend? Time in nature? A hot bath? Listening to your favorite song on repeat? Write down a few ideas and start to do them now. Notice how you feel when you do your favorite activities. Pleasure is often thought of as frivolous, but it is actually balm to the weary heart. (Note: use of substances or addictive activities do not count as self-care).
If you have questions, or are concerned about your ability to practice self-care, feel free to send me a message. I love to hear from my readers!