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Self-care is the practice of taking good care of one's physical and emotional health. It includes activities like relaxing baths and meditation. Anything that relaxes the mind and body, such as reading a book or exercising, can be considered self-care.
Kelsey Patel, a Los Angeles-based wellness expert, states that self-care is necessary to handle life's everyday stressors such as extended workdays and high levels of obligations. Furthermore, since people continually change their needs and preferences, so too do the activities that can be classed as self-care; for instance, one day yoga might be successful in reducing stress but not necessarily the next day.
Brighid Courtney, faculty of the Wellness Council of America, explains that looking after oneself has benefits including increased productivity, lowered stress levels, and increased self-esteem - necessities for busy professionals and their work. Stress can impede progress or work altogether. Thus, here are some self-care tips to lessen your stress.
6 Self-Care Tips After a Stressful Day
Meditate Every Day
Aside from scheduling your daily routine in such a way that it creates the least amount of stress, it is still important for you to have a way to relax and unwind. One possible means to do so is through meditation as it can reduce stress, improve focus, and boost overall mood. Set aside a few minutes daily to practice mindfulness or use a meditation app.
Be Physically Active
Exercise can help you feel centered and happy. According to an article published by Harvard Health Publishing, regular aerobic exercises can stimulate and relax your body. Additionally, clinical trials have proved that exercises may also help relieve anxiety disorders and clinical depression. Therefore, it is a good idea to add some physical activities to your daily routine. Some examples include taking yoga classes or spending a few minutes walking around.
Incorporate Healthy Eating Habits
Your diet plays a crucial role in stress reduction. Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are essential in ensuring you have enough energy to cope with stressful events. However, Karen Hemmes, a registered dietitian at Banner–University Medical Center Phoenix, advises that you should avoid processed and sugary foods as much as possible as they can increase your cortisol levels, the hormone primarily responsible for stress.
Get Enough Sleep
Aside from meditation, exercise, and a healthy diet, giving your body time to rest is crucial in recharging your batteries and reducing stress. According to Mark S. Aloia, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to the effects of stress. Make sure to get at least 7–8 hours of sleep each night and establish a regular sleep schedule.
Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Working all the time can be unhealthy for your mental and physical health. Make time for activities that are not work-related, such as having hobbies like painting or hanging out with friends and family. Doing something outside work increases productivity, boosts morale, and reduces stress levels.
Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
Going through an 8-hour shift without taking breaks is unhealthy. Breaks are essential for your body to recover and maintain its focus, as well as prevent stress from building up. In fact, regular breaks can help you stay focused and productive throughout the day. You can take a few minutes every hour or so to stretch, go for a quick short walk, chat with your colleagues, or simply take a few deep breaths.
4 Stress Management Techniques
Practice Proper Time Management
When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty with your tasks, it is possible that you have poor time management. Without it, you can experience high-stress levels. Try using techniques such as the Pomodoro technique or time blocking to manage your time more effectively.
Ask for Help When Needed
While it is admirable to be able to do things without the help of others, it is also important to know when you can't do it on your own. Ideally, it is during times like this that you should delegate tasks to others. This can help you reduce your workload and stress levels.
Learn How to Say "No"
Much like knowing when to delegate work to others is important, saying "no" to additional responsibilities is also necessary for maintaining your mental and physical health. Practice setting boundaries and prioritizing your own needs.
Seek Support From Colleagues or Professionals
If you're feeling overwhelmed or when the going gets tough, don't be afraid to ask for help from your colleagues, friends, or family. In fact, you can even consider seeking a professional. Talking to a counselor or therapist, or simply reaching out to a family member or friend can be a great source of support and help.
Prioritizing self-care is essential for busy individuals to foster both productivity and reduce stress. Taking the necessary time to look after yourself physically and mentally can lead to greater fulfillment. Remember to ask for help when needed, so you can balance your obligations, while still taking care of yourself.
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