We've all been through seasons of life where everything is just really hard. Relationship stress, work problems, academic pressures, financial woes, health issues...maybe one or two of those is manageable but when these all pile on one another, life can feel unmanageable. The first thing to go in times of high-stress is usually sleep, nutrition, and overall ability to care for ourselves in a way that allows us to show up in all of these stressful situations as our best self. Make taking time for yourself during times like these a non-negotiable. Schedule these things in your planner, ask a friend to help you stick to them, and notice any benefits you feel after to find which self-care techniques work best for you!
1. Practice a short meditation.
Use a meditation app, play some ocean sounds in the background, or sit in silence for even five to 10 minutes to clear your mind and help you focus.
2. Allow aromatherapy to lift your mood.
Scents have the power to calm us down and uplift us, depending on what you're looking for. Essential oils like lavender are great for relaxing before bed, and citrus oils like lemon can lift your mood when you need some more energy.
3. Listen to a new playlist.
Browse Spotify playlists to discover new music and un-wind.
4. Channel your energy into a creative project.
If you have a little more time and more anxious energy than you know what to do with, try making one of these creative arts projects.
5. Practice yoga.
Practicing yoga can mean going to a class at a yoga studio or gym, but it also might look like browsing the many free videos on YouTube and doing it in your room for free. Move your body, get in touch with your breath, and allow the stress to melt away.
6. Clean or do laundry.
This one might sound more like an errand than self-care, but hear me out! #Boring self-care is one of my favorite ways to de-stress. Sometimes when there is so much going on, doing something tangible and productive can really ease anxiety.
7. Use a face mask.
This might be the most cliche form of self-care on this list, but sometimes it feels nice to do something a little more luxurious. Plus, your skin will thank you!
8. Focus on taking deep belly breaths.
When we're stressed or anxious, our breath tends to stay right at our collarbone, at the top of our chest. Focus on taking breaths from the bottom of your abdomen, AKA diaphragmatic breaths. This will help your body and mind slow down and feel more relaxed.
9. Ask for help before you need it
It can be really hard to ask for help, until it's too late and everything you've kept bottled up is about to let loose. If there's anything you need help with, consider reaching out for help or even just someone to vent to or ask for advice. There's nothing shameful in asking for help - we all need each other.
10. Eat nutritious meals.
Healthy meals can be one of the first things to fall wayside when there's too much going on. Do your best to keep healthy snacks with you and cook meals ahead of time. At the same time, don't feel bad about eating more take-out than usual - do what ya gotta do!