Stress can be a great motivator in your life. Often, things like receiving pressure from a deadline or a high-pressure situation can motivate us to take action. But, unfortunately, stress also works against you by hiding your true feelings, keeping you from living a fulfilled and happy lifestyle. Stress is usually the result of facing challenging situations in your life, such as financial hardship, relationship issues, or work-related conflicts. Here's how self-care can help you cope in a trying situation.
When under stress, it's easy to focus on your problems. Self-care helps you stay in tune with yourself and what you need to do to be happy. Taking care of your mental health means taking time to think about how you feel, what is troubling you, and what steps could get taken to fix it.
While you may be able to work through a problem in your life, likely, you are not doing so very well. Dealing with stress is draining and can even lead to depression if left unchecked. Emotional health keeps us from becoming stressed out in the first place and helps us stay happy as we handle problems when they arise.
It's always important to remember that nobody is perfect. So if you find yourself being particularly harsh to yourself, stop in your tracks and forgive yourself. We all make mistakes.
Among the ways that stress impacts us negatively is by forcing us to do things, we don't necessarily want to do. Pressure can push us into poor eating habits or a lack of exercise and physical activity, which leads to a weaker body and increased stress hormones. Taking care of your physical health means getting plenty of sleep, moving your body, and getting fresh air and sunlight.
Implementing a Self-Care Routine
There are several potential approaches you can take to implement self-care into your life. You will have to make sure that your routine works for you and not against you. Choose something that puts your best interests first and helps you have a more positive outlook.
Ideas to start your self-care routine include:
- Exercise - Consider starting an exercise program. Exercise is great for all health aspects, but it's beneficial when dealing with stress. Even if you do nothing more than get up and take a walk around the block, every little bit helps. Ensure that you aim for at least thirty minutes of activity several times a week for best results.
- Volunteer - Sometimes, it's easy to get caught up in our little world. But, volunteering is an excellent way to get out of your head, look beyond yourself, and get involved with your community. Find a cause or an interest that you are passionate about, and do it!
- Keep a Journal - Meditative activities have proven to help with anxiety, depression, and stress. Keeping a journal or spending time praying can give you the peace of mind that you need to work through difficult situations and challenges.