In hard times, our self-care practices can easily go out the window. When you are running 100 miles per hour, it’s hard to slow down and take care of your own needs. Before you know it, you are running on empty.
Whether it’s the kids, your family, or your job, it’s so easy to take care of everyone and everything else and avoid slowing down. But trust me, this is when you need it the most.
Otherwise, the little stressors can build up over time and turn into overwhelm, anxiety, or frustration.
I’ve learned that even tiny little bits of self-care can make a huge difference in reducing stress. By taking little action steps each day, you can say goodbye to the stress and worry!
And trust me, it’s easy to fit one of these steps in because they are super simple!
Self-Care in Hard Times
Breaking down a self-care routine into simple steps can make a big difference between what gets done and how you feel about it. Here are 9 easy ways to practice self-care in hard times!
Get Outside Daily
Whether you go outside for a walk, sit in the grass, or just open the window to gaze outside and let some fresh air in, this practice is really grounding.
It completely eliminates stress for me, even just in those moments, I feel at peace.
Take Your Vitamins, Supplements, and/or Medications
Don’t skip these just because you may be busy! I have a tendency to forget and then I will begin to have days where I just don’t feel right. When I remember that I missed taking something I feel pretty silly.
Using a pill organizer like this one is really helpful.
Eat Protein and Fiber-Rich Meals
Eating meals that have a good amount of protein and fiber will help to balance your blood sugar and keep you from feeling hangry!
I always feel much better when I start my day with a good protein-packed breakfast.
Reduce or Eliminate Caffeine
Oh, coffee! I used to have a love-hate relationship with it.
Coffee is loaded with caffeine and can disrupt your sleep or increase anxiety.
In stressful times I have to take a step back from coffee. There are so many other delicious options you can have instead. Check out a few other options here.
Move Your Body Gently
Some people may find high impact activities like running to help, but I like to slow things down and be gentle. Yoga, walking, pilates, and hiking are all great options.
If you have CFS/ME, you can check out some other ways to move here.
Take Time To Slow Down
Make space in your day to slow down and relax.
This can mean meditation, painting, coloring, reading, or just sitting outside and watching the birds.
These quiet and calm moments help to sort of calibrate your nervous system.
Be Careful With The Media You Consume
This means social media too!
If there are people that you follow online that trigger you with posts about politics, upsetting news, or unkind words, either mute or unfollow them. And yes, this goes for family too. Most platforms don’t tell the person that you muted or unfollowed them.
Additionally, constantly watching the news can be difficult and often kind of depressing. It can even cause additional stress that you just don’t need.
Find a different way you can get your news and check it only once per day if you can. There is no need to obsess or keep it on nonstop.
Get Plenty of Rest and Sleep
When I feel a great amount of stress, my sleep is the first thing to suffer.
I’ll end up waking in the middle of the night or super early in the morning. When this happens, I’ll put on a guided meditation and let it play for a while. Whether or not I fall back asleep, it still has a calming and restful effect.
Getting to bed early is important too! Try using blackout curtains like these or a white noise machine.
Need more help with sleep? Check out my top 10 tips here.
Check In On Your Loved Ones
Reach out to your friends and family to see how they are doing. Creating an open dialogue of mutual support is really helpful. And if you need to, ask them to check in on you!
There is no shame in telling people that you’re having a hard time or would like some additional support.
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