How to Practice Self-Care Without Stressing Out

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#Self-Care is a recognizable hashtag to anyone on social media. And even if you don't use Instagram or Tweet chances are you have encountered the phrase in magazines, talk shows or in self-help books. Often the idea or phrase can be associated with consumerism and the purchasing of everything from high end beauty treatments to luxury vacations. This approach essentially makes self-care about the pursuit of things that are often financially inaccessible to the very people who need to take care of themselves the most.

Here are some suggestions on how you can replenish, rejuvenate and restore:

  • Previous generations may have found restoration by leaning on their families, communities and churches. Modern life doesn't always present those options but the development of strong emotionally healthy bonds with friends who become family can be an act of self-care. Conversely, eliminating or severely restricting time spent with toxic individuals can do a lot for your overall well-being.

  • Spend some time in the sun. Some studies have shown Vitamin D to improve mood and boost serotonin levels.

  • Get some rest and relaxation. Book a massage, luxuriate in a hot bath or shower, or just sleep in one morning. So often our busy schedules make something as basic as a good night’s sleep seem like a luxury.

  • Have a good laugh. Get some comedic relief with a movie or listening to your favorite comedian can help detach from routine daily stressors.

  • Make a list of affirmations that help combat the negative self-sabotaging thoughts

  • Advertisements, especially those that we are unconsciously ingesting through social media can make nourishment of the body seem as if it's only for the wealthy and can put you in a stressful space where trying to access a wellness routine leaves you anxious and on edge. If this is you, try unplugging from your devices. Though professional needs may make that difficult, possibilities include deleting certain apps from your phone, designating specific hours as no screen time, or making your bedroom a device free zone.

The ways in which people feel rejuvenated is going to vary wildly, so it's okay if your version of self-care is non-traditional just as long as it is focused on physical, emotional and relational health. So don’t feel guilty the next time you need some “you time.” It’s not a selfish act; it’s necessary for your health.