7 Simple Self Care Tips For Tough Times
Life is full of ups and downs. And sometimes when we’re going through those down times, it can be difficult to practice self-care. However, those are the times when it’s more important than ever to practice self-care.
Self-care doesn’t have to be a complex all day ritual, it can be something that only takes a minute or two. It’s the accumulative care that you provide to yourself that ultimately helps you to manage your stress before your stress manages you.
So, what can you do to take care of yourself even when times are tough?
Accept Life’s Imperfections
Tough times can wear you down by increasing the stress that you feel. Some people cope with the additional stress by refusing to accept that things are different.
This can increase the stress that’s felt because a significant amount of energy has to be devoted to maintaining the illusion of normalcy.
What can you do instead?
Step back and honestly acknowledge the situation. You may need to roll with the punches or change your game plan. Whatever you do will help you play offense rather than defense.
Eat Something Healthy
One of the side effects of stress is a change in appetite. Some people over eat while others eat nothing at all. Those who have an increase in appetite may turn to comfort foods which, let’s face it are usually unhealthy. Fried and greasy never tastes better then when you’re stressed out. If this is you, make a conscious effort to eat balanced meals while using comfort foods as an occasional treat.
On the opposite side of the scale is someone who loses their appetite when stressed. That person might say that they ‘forgot’ to eat or just don’t feel hungry. If this is you, consider scheduling your meals. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take a break for a healthy meal. Having the proper fuel will go a long way to helping you get through the stress.
When life had dealt you a rough hand and you’re dealing with a difficult time, exercise can (understandably) be the last thing on your mind. Making it easy to slip into inactivity which is a no-no.
To fix this, make a point to get up and move around every few hours. It's especially helpful to get outside if you can to take a walk and connect with nature. Remember, movement has been proven to ease stress, and can help you feel better even when things are difficult.
Sleep is one thing that often falls to the wayside when everything is chaotic around you. One thing that might help you catch those z-z-z-s, is creating a bedtime routine.
At night you can try quieting your mind through journaling, reading, meditation, gratitude, or other quiet activities which will help you process what you're going through. Do what you need to relax yourself to get a good night's sleep.
Talk to Someone
Never try to go it alone. During difficult times reach out to your support network. Whether it’s in person or over a Zoom call, talking to someone that cares about you can go a long way to keeping you on an even keel. If you're really struggling, consider talking to a counselor or other professional.
Do Something Relaxing
Last but not least, remember to take time to pamper yourself. Look for small ways to give yourself relief. Having a bubble bath, reading a good book, or indulging in hobbies will help restore your equilibrium.
Take Time For A Self-Care Short
There are plenty of self-care related activities that can take a minute or less to perform. You can:
Take a deep breath
Try inhaling, holding and then exhaling on a count of four.
Just sit in silence with your eyes closed while you breathe.
Find an object near you and study it. Then close your eyes and recall all the details you can about the object.
Use visualization to take a 1-minute vacation in your mind.
Think about something you’re grateful for or send a quick note to someone to let them know that they’re appreciated.
Following the tips in this post can help you make it through those tough times. It’s all about Making Time.
What do you do to manage your stress when you’re faced with one of life’s difficulties? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a facilitator, stress management coach and author of “Yes I’m Grateful,” a gratitude journal. She believes in empowering her clients to help them manage their stress and increase self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or LinkedIn