Mental Health & Well-being
Self-Care and Stress Management Tips
Life can get stressful — whether you’re dealing with a tough coworker, prepping for finals or just overwhelmed by it all.
Before you get too stressed or overwhelmed, we have a few self-care and stress management strategies to add to your routine or put in your back pocket. This way, you’ll be prepared to take on whatever life throws your way!
Let’s Talk Stress.
The truth is we’re never going to live a totally stress-free life. But, believe it or not, some stress is actually good for you. It can motivate and energize you. Think of the rush of nerves and excitement you get when competing in a sport for example. Learn more about good and bad stress in this course in Minerva.
The key is to recognize the difference between the two kinds of stress, then learn how to reduce bad stress. Plus, it’s helpful to know tips and tricks for reducing stress. Taking the time to practice self-care allows us to build resilience toward stressors we simply can’t eliminate. If you can’t beat them, learn how to live with them!
Too Stressed to De-stress? Strategies You Can Do RIGHT NOW.
Sometimes stress piles so high you don’t feel like there’s time to step away and practice the self-care you need. This is when you need to prioritize it most.
Try these tips to combat heightened stress in the moment:
- Take a brisk walk. Separate yourself from the physical environment causing your stress, even just for a 10-minute walk. Walk fast enough to get your heart rate up. This releases endorphins that will stimulate relaxation and improve your mood.
- Engage your senses. To quickly calm yourself, call upon your sense of sight, sound, smell, taste or touch to center you.
- Sight: Step outside to take in nature or look at a photo that reminds you of an uplifting or peaceful time.
- Sound: Listen to music or a soundtrack of sounds you find calming.
- Smell: Light a scented candle (lavender is particularly calming) or spritz some of your favorite perfume.
- Touch: Hold a comforting object, wrap yourself in a cozy blanket, or take a hot shower.
- Taste: Chew a piece of mint gum or dark chocolate and focus on the taste. Their flavors act as mental stimulation.
- Set a goal. When everything feels overwhelming, set a small goal. Set a timer and focus on one task for 20 minutes. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish.
- Get support. Ask a friend or sister to be your accountability buddy and have them check in with you at a certain time. Better yet, ask them if they want to accomplish one of the pressing tasks with you. The buddy system will keep you from putting it off.
- Get the rest you need. No matter how stressed you are, don’t take time away from sleeping. Enough daily sleep gives your body time to prepare or recover from life’s challenges. You won’t eliminate the stress if you’re feeling rundown or tired.
Source: Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, and Ron McMillan
Strive for Balance.
At times, there are areas of our lives that are doing better than others — it’s inevitable. But, here’s the goal: Let’s strive for overall balance.
Did you know there are four dimensions of self-care? Physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual self-care. Learn how you can achieve balance among each here.
Try a Self-Care Checklist.
If you’re noticing chronic stress in your life, it’s time to re-evaluate your approach to self-care.
There are various ways to practice self-care and stress management. For some, it may mean unplugging for a bit. For others, it may be getting moving and putting in extra work. Find out what works for you and get ideas for how to make your own self-care checklist here.