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We all know stress, don’t we?

It’s like that uninvited guest that often shows up at the most inconvenient times. But you can build a personal plan to keep you strong and resilient, especially with the right self-care strategies.

The Fabulous Three: Your Core Essentials

1. Sleep

Quality sleep is vital. Create a calming bedtime routine – including an end-of-the-day journal entry to clear your mind and help you relax; remove distractions like watching television or extensive reading on your devices in bed (blue light is not conducive to falling asleep quickly); and consider using a recorded sleep affirmation, soothing sounds (rainfall?) or soft music to help you drift off to sleep and embrace those sweet dreams!

2. Nutrition

A balanced diet fuels your vivacious life. Plan your meals, discover new healthy recipes, and savor each bite. A nutrition journal could help you analyze what foods help you relax and which ones turn your inner engine up to 10. Eating energizing foods right before a workout or to help you start your day can make a big difference, as can eating foods that help you relax right before bed.

3. Exercise

From dancing to gardening or brisk walking – find joy in moving your body! Just 15-30 minutes a day can be a game-changer. Choose an activity you loved in the past, or try something new – gentle movements like yoga or tai-chi, resistance training that strengthens your muscles, and aerobic activity that helps your lungs work to their best capacity.

Feel and Process Your Emotions: The Emotional You

Journaling: Pour those feelings out onto paper, and give yourself time and space to reflect on them. As you continue this practice, you’ll grow, change, and see your wisdom unfold.
Talk it out: Connect with friends or support groups, either online or in person. Sometimes a listening ear works wonders!
Shine with Positivity: Be Your Own Best – and consistent – Cheerleader. Your self-talk is important to lifting your motivation level and helps boost your self-esteem.
Affirmations: Create uplifting affirmations that resonate with your soul and reflect what’s important to you. Repeat them daily, empower yourself to make the productive changes you desire, and watch your confidence bloom!
Gratitude Practice: Cultivate joy by acknowledging the little blessings around you. A gratitude journal can be a delightful companion, or you can add notes of gratitude to your personal journal as part of your practice.

Discover Your Balance: It’s Your Time

Learn to say “no”: It’s empowering! Your time is precious, and it’s okay to set boundaries. You don’t have to be available to everyone all the time.
Delegate: Share responsibilities at home and work. Teamwork makes the dream work and lessens the load you have to carry!
Connect and Engage: Build meaningful Connections with people who you see on a regular basis or make time to connect intentionally. Don’t let technology be a barrier – you can connect online as well.
Social Activities: Join clubs or groups that align with your interests and you may even find new friends to share your activities with!
Volunteer: If the organization or cause resonates with you, giving back can be a rewarding way to connect with others and give yourself a good dose of feel-good endorphins.
Meditation & Soulful Relaxation: Peaceful you – try a few different methods or modalities to see what makes you feel the best. What makes your tense shoulders drop, helps you exhale your stress, and brings a gentle smile to your face? Take note and make time for that!
Mindfulness Practice: Stay present and soak in the here and now. The past can’t be changed, and the future isn’t written yet – enjoy what’s around you right this moment and live your current life while you make plans for the future.

Pamper Your Beautiful Self: You Deserve It!

Creative Hobbies: Embrace hobbies like painting, knitting, or photography. Give that creative part of your spirit room to grow and blossom. You might find that your past activities – from childhood or just a few years ago – provide the space and atmosphere you need to let your artistic self shine.
Spa Day at Home: A bubble bath, facial masks, and your favorite tunes. Turn off the cell phone, leave the email unopened, and take the time you need to relax completely. Indulge in the perfect scent, enjoy the music, and take good care of yourself. Plan how you’ll start and end your session, and simply enjoy! Pure bliss!

Now What?

So, you’ve got this fantastic toolkit, and now it’s time to make it your own! Customize these strategies to fit your unique lifestyle. Start small if you need to, and gradually integrate these self-care habits into your daily routine.

And most importantly, celebrate yourself! Recognize and honor the progress and positive changes you make along the way.

Life may have its ups and downs, but with these self-care practices, you’re not just surviving; you’re thriving. Embrace this journey with joy, confidence, and that beautiful spark that makes you, YOU!

You’re on a path to greatness, and you’re doing it with grace and style! Feel free to lean into any of these strategies that resonate with you, and keep reminding yourself that you’re worth the investment of time and effort to nourish your vivacious and authentic self.

You’ve got this!

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About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with 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 has been journaling since the age of 9.

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