Self-care should be an essential part of everyone’s daily routine. While it might seem that taking care of yourself is the last thing you have time for, it can play a significant role in reducing your stress levels and bring relief for anxiety sufferers. Contrary to popular belief, self-care is not selfish – it is a vital component in taking responsibility for keeping your mind and body in balance. There are many different ways a good self-care routine can be beneficial for every aspect of your life. Here are just a few self-care ideas you might like to try.

Practise Journaling, Gratitude and Meditation

An integral part of any good self-care routine is taking time out to calm the mind. Modern life presents a constant barrage of stressors and on top of juggling day to day responsibilities; there are now also more opportunities than ever to compare your life to others. By making a few minutes a day to practice journaling and gratitude, preferably in the morning before your day begins, you can allow your mind to focus on the positives and, in doing so, give more space to good thoughts as opposed to becoming overwhelmed by the negative ones. Even when things are not going well, and we experience anxiety towards certain situations, there is still always something to feel grateful for. Focusing on gratitude can help to promote an overall better sense of well-being and contextualize any issues you may be going through. Meditation is also a great way to help get in touch with your thoughts and feelings and allow yourself the opportunity to experience and assess maybe some uncomfortable emotions to process them and release them. A healthy body cannot exist without a healthy mind too.

Exercise

A regular exercise program, as part of your self-care routine, is a great way to help reduce stress and associated anxiety. High energy cardio is a fantastic way of sweating away your worries. At the same time, more calming physical activities such as pilates and yoga give your body and mind the opportunity to stretch, slow down, and become more centered. Exercise also releases your body’s feel-good hormone, serotonin, which is a natural way to give your mind and body a boost of energy and release tensions.

Try a Change of Scene

While for some getting a change of scene might entail going on vacation – an undeniably great opportunity for self-care!  Realistically, this isn’t something most people can fit into their routine regularly. But taking time away doesn’t always mean an expensive trip abroad. Sometimes just exploring a new part of your city can feel just as refreshing and give you a chance to get a new stance on things. Self-care is all about slowing down and living in the moment. A great way to do this is to visit a new place. A fresh perspective can do wonders if you are feeling stagnant and stressed, so why not seek out a new park for a stroll or try a different cafe or restaurant this weekend

Scrap the To-Do List

When you are feeling stressed and anxious, it can be easy to take on more to distract yourself — committing to more work projects to distract from problems at home, diving into a new relationship too soon after finishing a previous one. These distractions prevent our minds from dealing with traumas and an essential element of self-care is learning to stay in communication with your feelings and not try to mask them. Try to make time to do an activity that you enjoy to eliminate distractions. Not a side hustle – an actual hobby, just for fun! Giving yourself breathing space allows your body and mind to mentally press the reset button, leaving you more refreshed and open to life’s challenges.

Take a Break from Technology

It can be hard to get away from our screens these days. Whether it’s work emails, streaming content online, or using your phone to catch up on the latest trends, it can often feel like technology is calling the shots and the thought of disconnecting can feel a bit disconcerting. However, taking regular and consistent breaks from technology is a crucial way to help lower your stress and anxiety levels. Unplugging and connecting back into the real world stops unnecessary focus being pulled into the external world of social media and curating an offline identity that works for your life is just as important as looking good on screen. It also reminds us that too much digital time can mean not enough physical activity, which can lead to feeling sluggish and depressed. Even a few hours not multitasking on your phone can give your mind a well-needed rest.

Create a Work-Life Balance

Structuring your life to try and give it more balance is a great self-care strategy to help reduce stress and anxiety. Rest and recuperation are equally as important as working hard to achieve your goals. Carving out time for self-care can help you to be more productive in the long run. Nothing good comes from feeling stressed and anxious all the time and decompressing from pressure and worry is an important skill to learn. See if you can work from home one day a week, make sure you are taking all the holiday allowance you are entitled to receive. Take the lead on one project but step back for the next one. Remember that you can get the job done and take time out once in a while to recharge and regroup

Stress and anxiety can often be interlinked. The more you feel stressed out, the more your level of anxiety increases. Taking even a few minutes out of your day to check in with yourself and do an activity you enjoy can improve your quality of life greatly and is an easy way to help decrease your levels of stress and anxiety.

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