Are you overwhelmed by the worries of daily life?
If your response to high stress levels is to shut down–or, in some cases, take care of everyone but yourself–it’s time to prioritize self-care. Taking a breather to nourish, nurture, and care for yourself properly doesn’t function only as a nice breather from the hustle and bustle.
Self-care is necessary for good health, and the more you practice it, the more confident and creative you will be. You will make better decisions, have stronger relationships, and radically reduce tension in your life.
Keep this list handy when times of stress hit–here are 25 practical and powerful self-care ideas that bring real results.
1. Take 3 deep breaths. Combat stressful shallow breathing by stopping to take a breather.
2. Full body stretch. This is a great way to slow down and become more in tune with your body.
3. Declutter. You don’t have to organize an entire office for this method to work. Start small and declutter your desk space to reduce stress levels.
4. Open the blinds. Did you know even five minutes of sunlight first thing in the morning boosts your Vitamin D levels and balances your cortisol (stress) levels?
5. Put on a face mask. And not just for women. Great for your skin, and relaxing for the mind.
6. Get a massage. Relieve pain and stiffness, increase circulation, and reduce anxiety.
7. Keep a journal. Stream-of-consciousness writing will clear your head of mental clutter and gain clarity.
8. Take a nap. A 15-minute power nap can reduce a ton of stress.
9. Read a positive book and relax the mind. Even just two pages a day can do you some good.
10. Go outside. A walk around the block or nature is great for mental health.
11. Keep phones out of your bedroom. Encourage better sleep in a space that is for your relaxation.
12. Eat a healthy snack. Sometimes, all you need is a better food choice and little more nourishment.
13. Start a side hustle. According to Dr. Kien Vuu, a clinical professor of medicine at UCLA, David Geffen School of Medicine, engaging in a hobby reduces stress and activates genes that increase immunity and decrease inflammation.
14. Laugh. Laughing is an underrated stress reliever. Watch a funny comedy show or video clip, or spend time with a hilarious friend.
15. Aromatherapy. Diffuse essential oils to quickly boost your mood.
16. Take a bath. Light a candle and soak in the tub.
17. Have tea or coffee. What is most important about this method is you should do this without being on a screen. Have a cup while sitting in peace, watching the sunset for example.
18. Put positive notes around your house. Remind yourself you are powerful!
19. Listen to a great playlist. Play one of your favorite songs, or try listening to meditative music.
20. Recite positive affirmations. Here’s an example, “I am grateful to be alive, and I am capable of achieving more than I believe.”
21. Color. Coloring books for adults are very popular, and they are known to be very therapeutic.
22. Practice saying no. Don’t say yes to things you don’t want to do. Staying at home instead of going to an event you don’t care for is a great decision.
23. Detox your social media. Are the accounts you are following on social media positive, or are they toxic for your mental health? Unfollow and unsubscribe from what does not benefit you.
24. Buy yourself flowers. You don’t need a special occasion to improve your mood with this method.
25. Do a guided meditation. Shift your energy in just 5-10 minutes.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com. More from Inc.
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