5 Self Care Secrets for Less Stress and More Joy

woman meditatingwoman meditating

by Tracey Pollack

Too many of us spend every moment taking care of others, but do you ever take a moment to take care of yourself? Devoting time to fulfilling your needs is a practice known as self care. Life can be very stressful, which can affect your physical and emotional well-being. That’s exactly why you need to nurture yourself as well as you nurture others. Need another reason? Self care offers benefits for your body, mind, emotions, health and relationships. In fact, taking care of yourself leaves you better prepared to take care of those you love. Try these five self care techniques to keep you going when the going gets tough.

1. Sleep It Off

With your busy life and endless stress, are you dreaming of a good night’s sleep? While sleep may seem like a luxury, it’s actually a necessity for your emotional, mental and physical health. Too many sleepless nights can have a major impact on the way you feel, function and face the stresses of every day. But getting plenty of quality sleep can recharge your mind, refresh your body and replenish all of your energy to make you more productive and help you handle the day ahead. And when you have an occasional sleepless night, sneak in a cat nap during the day to give your mind, body and energy a much-needed boost.

2. Take up a Hobby

When you feel trapped by obligations and expectations, you need a healthy escape. Something that gives you pleasure and leaves you feeling fulfilled. A hobby is the perfect pursuit because it takes your mind off your worries and lets you focus on things you enjoy. More than just a fun or relaxing distraction, a hobby can relieve your stress, improve your mood and stimulate your mind. It can also lower your blood pressure, along with your risk of depression. So make the most of your downtime by finding a soothing pastime.

3. Keep Meditation in Mind

Want to do your mind and body a world of good? Take a few moments to meditate. In addition to relieving any stress you feel today, the benefits of meditation continue long after because it boosts your resilience to any stress in the future. But that’s not all… mediation has also been shown to improve your emotional stability, increase your compassion and may keep you from getting sick. Just find a quiet place and focus on your breath. If your mind starts to wander, bring your attention back to your breath until your mind is finally quiet. Continue for a few minutes until you feel completely calm. Try it and see how good it feels to enter the “zen zone.”

4. Make It a Laughing Matter

When you feel so stressed that you want to cry, laughter can be the best medicine. Research has shown that laughing triggers physiological changes in your body that can benefit your mental and physical health. Laughter produces endorphins, which reduce stress and anxiety, while promoting a sense of well-being. Sharing a laugh with others fosters good relationships, which can increase your happiness and boost your self-esteem. Go watch that funny movie or silly rerun on TV because having a good laugh can be just what the doctored ordered.

5. Om Your Way Calm

Strike a pose! Yoga is another healthy way to practice self-care. Along with reducing built-up stress, relieving anxiety and decreasing depression, yoga can increase your energy, strengthen your muscles and give your brain power a boost. And you can practice yoga from anywhere in very little time. It’s best to learn the proper poses by taking a class, getting a book or simply using an app. With yoga, you’re always in the perfect position to improve your body, mind and spirit.

Try these five self-care practices to treat yourself to the love you deserve.

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