The advice you get for relieving stress can vary quite a bit based on the source, since there are so many different options available. However, one thing you might hear from nearly everyone is that you need to practice good self-care.
Midlife women are dealing with a lot these days! Working from home, home schooling, health, aging parents, keeping up house and home and generally just trying to keep it all together can lead to enormous amounts of STRESS!!
It is incredibly important that you pay attention to your own needs, make your health a priority, and understand when you need a little more self-love. Here are some reasons why self-care is so important for stress relief. Often, however, we get caught up in life and seemingly forget about our own well-being. Now, more than ever, you need to take care of yourself!
What People Get Wrong About Self-Care
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 self-care. In addition, self-care does not have to be something formal. It can be something as easy as taking in a deep breath for four counts and exhaling for four counts (and repeating once).
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 do feel that reading a book or taking a bubble bath is self-care, it goes far beyond these basic tasks.
Self-care can mean sitting in your car alone for 10 minutes for some peace and quiet, exercising, going for a walk, eating a meal you love, or spending time with your pet.
It is also really important to remember that self-care is not selfish. It isn’t 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 of.
Why You Should Turn to Self-Care First
When you are dealing with a lot of stress and overwhelm in your life, you are in need of a mental break. The first thing you should consider doing when you feel this way is adding more self-care into your life. While lack of self-care might not be the reason you have a lot of stress, it can still be very beneficial with how you feel on a daily basis.
It can also help you to take a step back, relax your mind and body, and re-focus your thoughts. This is going to keep you from just trying to stay busy and get as much done as possible, but actually take action with intention. So for every action you take, you know the objective, instead of just trying to stay busy, which is a common mistake many people make who are already under a lot of stress.
Start with Daily Activities for Your Health and Wellbeing
If you aren’t sure what self-care is or how to get started with it, just start small with daily habits you can adopt or revisit if you’ve fallen off-track (such as with exercising or eating healthier). 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:
Getting better sleep.
Writing in a journal or planner.
Spending quiet time to read.
Drinking more water.
Eating healthier foods.
Tap into Your Senses
The next thing you can do is think about activities that help to bring out your senses. Think about your 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 very basic activities. Here are some good examples:
Listen to music, rain, or running water.
Feel the hot water of a great shower or smell the fragrance of a bubble bath.
Get a massage (if you are able to).
Watch flames in a fire in your living room.
Feel a soft, cozy blanket.
Very simple activities can be considered self-care, and also allow you to tap into your different senses in order to be mindful and start relieving your stress.
Other Self-Care Activities for 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. Just being outside can be a huge boost to your mood and overall health! 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.
Below is a short video by Susannah Winters titled “Self Care: What it Really is”. Check it out!
Yours in health and wellness,
Francine Alleyne (RHNP™)
Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner™
Join my Facebook Group, Midlife Healthy Daily!
DISCLAIMER: Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing any symptoms. I am not a doctor. This post and anything else you find on my website is intended for informational, educational and self-empowerment purposes ONLY and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease.