Have You Ever Thought About Self-Care As A Way to Relieve Stress?
Sometimes, life seems to be overwhelming.. One day rolls into the next and the next. In our fast-paced world, there is rare space for introspection and calm. Our self-care seems out of reach for a way to relieve stress, and I’m included in that thought.
If you need a way to detach from the chaos around you, you must take a moment to find peace from within. Can you take a few minutes to do this simple read; it may be life-changing.
What does self-care mean? The official definition of self-care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s well-being and happiness. This is particularly important during times of stress.
But the world’s interpretation is highly subjective. What it comes down to it there is no wrong way to practice self-care. It could even change over time as you progress through different stages in your life or facing other circumstances.
Self-care can be anything that allows you to slow down and get in touch with yourself. Whatever brings you rest, joy, inspiration-that is self-care. Regardless of the method you choose or why, self-care has the power to keep you rooted, make you the best possible version of yourself, restore and grow you so that you may be able to show up for those around you intentionally.
As novelist Eleanor Brown said, “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
What People Get Wrong About Self-Care to Relieve Stress
The first thing to understand about self-care is that it comes in many forms and might include activities and tasks that you never associated with being self-care. In its essence, self-care is all about doing something for you and nobody else. This can be different for everyone, so while many people feel that reading a book or taking a bubble bath is self-care to relieve stress, it goes far beyond these essential tasks.
Self-care can mean making time to visit friends, exercise or go for a walk, eat a meal you love, or spend time with your pet.
It is also imperative to remember that self-care is not selfish. It’s not about being by yourself as much as possible or only doing things that benefit you. Self-care is simply an act of being intentional to take good care of yourself, which everyone needs to do more.
Why You Should Turn to Self-Care to Relieve Stress First
When you deal with a lot of stress and overwhelm in your life, you probably need a mental break. The ”first” thing you should consider when you feel this way is adding more self-care into your life. While lack of self-care might not be why you have a lot of stress, it can still be very beneficial with how you feel daily.
It can also help you take a step back, relax your mind and body, and re-focus your thoughts. This will keep you from just trying to stay busy and get as much done as possible, but actually, take action with intention. This makes it to where every step you take, you know the objective, instead of just trying to stay busy. This is a common mistake many people make who are already under a lot of stress.
Tap into Your Senses
The next thing you can do is think about activities that help to bring out your senses. Think about the different senses you can focus on, such as tasting, touching, listening, smelling, and seeing. Each of these senses helps you to remain calm and be more mindful through fundamental activities. Here are some excellent examples:
- Listen to music, rain, or running water.
- Feel the hot water and smell the fragrance of a bubble bath.
- Treat yourself special with a relaxing massage.
- Watch flames in a fire in your living room.
- Feel a warm, soft cozy blanket.
Simple activities can be considered self-care and allow you to tap into your different senses to be mindful and start relieving your stress.
Start with Daily Activities for Your Health and Well-being
If you aren’t sure what self-care is or how to get started with it, start small with daily activities. Think about what you can do for yourself that helps your physical or mental health, reduce stress, and help you relax. Some daily activities that can be considered self-care include:
- Perform a simple 2-minute exercise routine. This boosts energy, improves balance and flexibility.
- Appreciate the clouds and see all kinds of wonderful shapes.
- Be present. Look around you, REALLY look. There are so much wonder and amazement around us every day.
- Be goofy. Yep, you heard that right, have some fun, be silly, laugh, and act like a fool.
- Delegate or outsource menial tasks. Carpool, have the kids load the dishwasher after meals. Find small-time robbing tasks and let someone else handle them.
- Unplug for 1 hour. Trust me, ignoring your Facebook updates, Twitter tweets and in-box for 1 hour will make you appreciate the “real world” even more.
Other Self-Care Activities to Relieve Stress
Moving beyond the basics, you can do anything for yourself that makes you feel happy and relaxed, and that can be considered a self-care activity. Think about what you can do at home and outside the home. Going on a road trip or a vacation, having coffee with a friend, date night with a significant other, and going to your weekly art class can all be great for self-care.
Remember that self-care is whatever you make of it – it is something that helps you feel better, whether mentally or physically. It is crucial when you are trying to reduce your overall stress and anxiety. Here are some out the box activities you may not have considered.
Play A Game With One Word
Grab a notebook and write down one word that makes you feel good. Then let that word pyramid into other words. For example, “calm” makes me think of “relaxed,” which makes me think of “mindfulness.” Carrying it a step further, the next word I think of is “music,” which makes me think of “peaceful.”
Give it a try and see what you come up with. Then check-in and see how your body responds.
Book an Airbnb in Your City
Save yourself the expense of traveling and plan a stay-cation, complete with booking an Airbnb right in your city. Whether you do it for a night or a weekend, or even a week. This is a great way to break out of the repetitive drama of life.
You’ll experience life from a different perspective. You can enjoy a lovely cottage or modern apartment without the hassles of traveling.
Practice Non-Judgmental Observation of Yourself and Others
It takes a lot of energy, stress, and anxiety when you take everything to heart. In other words, we let our outside world dictate how our inside world is. Holding on to should means we don’t allow space for something inside to emerge. This can place restrictions on yourself.
It’s funny how this works, but one of the best ways to help yourself is to help others. Have you considered volunteering at your favorite charity or organization you are passionate about? It could even be your local animal shelter.
Learn Something New
This is one of my favorite self-care ideas because I love learning new things. Do you have something on your bucket list you need to accomplish? Whatever it is – put yourself out there, find the confidence and sign up for it.
Make It Routine
Whatever self-care ideas you choose, make sure you are approaching it with self-compassion. Without self-care, you will not function as well. Adding self-care into each day gives you more energy, emotional and physical health. It makes your day happy, and you will appreciate what and where you are at “right now.” You deserve it. So, go ahead write it in your calendar.
Today, start paying attention to your own needs, making your health a priority, and understanding when you need a little self-love.
What does self-care to relieve stress mean to you?
Go ahead and leave a comment below.
I am Shirley Noah, author and an internationally known stress expert and entrepreneur. I would love to connect further with you to help you improve your health and well-being. If you are interested in learning more about self-care, please take a look at my popular E-course, Self-Care: The Art of a Happier More Peaceful Self.