By Michelle L. Casto, M.Ed
To combat modern day stressors, you
need to realize
that things are going to go the way
they are going to
go, so you may as well just relax. The
thing you can do for yourself is to practice extreme
self-care which means putting your own needs first.
We have had it backwards for far too long, taking care
of yourself first is not selfish, it is essential.
Invest in yourself in all areas of your life, to
include: personal services, massage therapy, body
Develop daily rituals that keep you feeling good. You
must take care of yourself first or you will be no
good to anyone else. Self-care is simply loving and
honoring yourself. Loving yourself is giving to
yourself. Giving to yourself allows you to share with
others more fully. Being more fully present means
you naturally develop less of an attachment to what
goes on around you, and can instead be more relaxed
and at peace.
Releasing the need to control yourself, other people,
and/or situations, will greatly reduce the amount of
stress you experience in your life. Also helpful is
relaxing, refreshing, and rejuvenating your body, mind
Relax Your Body
Your body is your temple, and can easily get run down
by stress, strain, and struggle, take care of it with
regular relaxing activities.
Get good sleep
Swedish massage, hot stone massage
Foot or hand paraffin
Body treatments: aromatherapy body wraps, body
Rigorous and regular exercise
Refresh Your Mind
Your mind is your guide, it can easily get distracted
and off course, so take care of it with regular
Take long walks
Spend time in nature
Read inspirational messages
Learn new things
Talk with a good friend
Take care of your pet
Therapy or personal coaching on a regular basis
Rejuvenate Your Spirit
Your spirit is your connection with Source, and can
easily be forgotten in the busyness of life, so take
care of it with regular rejuvenating activities.
Sing, dance, express yourself
Consciously slow down
Be fully present
Know and live by your values and beliefs
Surround yourself with supportive, loving, and
Connect with nature, it restores homeostasis to your
Make a list of your favorite things. Read it when you
Rely on friends and animals, they are great sources of
Create a pleasure drawer. Stock your drawer with
personal momentos or simple indulgences--- favorite
scents, textures, and tastes to create your own
multi-sensory stress-relief treatments.
Be colorful. Color stimulates your eyes and your
brain. When used properly, color can make you feel
happy and energized. Warm colors like red, orange,
and yellow increase heart rate and circulation. Cool
colors, such as blue or lavender act like sedatives.
Deep breathe. Taking deep breaths will soothe your
nerves, it sends oxygen to your brain and refreshes
your mind. Inhale through your nose and count to
eight. Fill your belly not your chest with air.
Exhale through your mouth to the count of 10-16.
Repeat five times until you feel calmer.
Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine for stress.
Find humor in the situation.
Imagine. Use visualization and guided imagery to take
your mind off the situation.
And when you find yourself in a really challenging
situation, remember the serenity prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I
The courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
See Also: Holisticonline.com
Stress Management Infocenter