zzz, sleep, pink

Self-care is a vital habit, but it can be neglected when stressed.

However, this is when we need to take care of ourselves the most.

Having a self-care kit helps you focus on yourself. Some ideas include taking a bath, reading a book, taking a short walk, listening to music, etc. You can also find other ways to calm down and relax. Don't wait until you're stressed to start taking care of yourself and practicing good, healthy habits. Start now, and you'll thank yourself in challenging times.

Make a List

Let's start by looking at your self-care backup plans. This is a list of all the easy things you can do for yourself during stressful times. Having reminders handy means, you'll never forget to look after yourself — which can make all the difference during trying times.

The first thing you might consider is making sure you get adequate rest. Can you set an alarm clock to remind yourself? Can you put a note on your door? Can you ask a friend to remind you?

Trying to keep to a regular sleeping schedule is one of the cornerstones of keeping on top of stress. Sleep gives your brain and body the time they need to recharge, and often, lack of sleep is a major factor in making people feel stressed. Remember that others might not be able to read your mind, and that's especially true if they're coming from a totally different background.

Asking for help doesn't mean you're not capable, but it does mean you're smart. If you ask for help, it doesn't make you weak. In fact, it often makes you stronger than those who don't.

Remember you're not alone, and that what's stressing you out isn't unique. Others have gone through what you are going through.

Get A Care Package

Yet another way to stay focused on your well-being is to cultivate a focus kit. Next time you feel yourself starting to feel overwhelmed, reach for this kit. In your toolkit, try to keep a variety of different things that you know will engage your mind.

This could include a favorite novel or magazine, audiobooks, a crossword or sudoku puzzle, or even adult coloring books. Sometimes just focusing on something other than stress can take the edge off and help you to calm down.

 In the toolkit, try to include something that is positive and uplifting. This could mean music, a comic strip, a motivational quote, or humor. This should help you to reframe your stress into more manageable chunks. Reach for your "court of appeals" kit when you lose focus on your well-being.

This can contain anything from your favorite book to a movie to scented candles to soothing teas. Keep the things that make you feel good and surround yourself with them. If you're the type of person that likes to get dressed up and go out for a fancy dinner, or to get dressed up and see a show, build those kinds of experiences into your schedule and your budget - you are worth it!

Your Crew Needs to Be Involved

During times of crisis, it can be difficult to take care of yourself. That's why it's an innovative idea to reach out to close friends and family members. Let them know you'd like them to be there for you should you need their support. Tell them what a difference they've made for you in the past, and express gratitude for the help you received.

Often, those who care about us most can help us see things we don't. By enlisting the help of your loved ones, you can help strengthen your resolve to follow a self-care regimen.

Making plans to take care of yourself today will make it easier to do so tomorrow and all the days to come. Remember that it is during times of difficulty that you need to be extra gentle with yourself.


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About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels empowers women 35+ to create their Best Life with the Power of Affirmations & Journaling. You can learn how to use proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is a Unitarian Universalist Minister and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family), and proudly serves her community as a Registrar of Voters.

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