Earlier this week was International Self-Care Day. At Stella’s Circle we take that very seriously, as our dedicated staff work very hard taking care of others. Self-care is important for everyone. Several Stella’s Circle employees shared some tips and advice for dealing with stress and anxiety.
- Remember to be gentle with yourself. Stress, anxiety, feeling sad/down are normal parts of life, so be aware of your feelings, be ok with feeling them, and give yourself permission to take breaks and engage in self-care. It is important to understand that feelings change over time…joy, sadness, anger, are all normal and will come and go. If your feelings get overwhelming, it can be helpful to seek out professional help. Sometimes Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) can provide assistance, so it is worthwhile to check if this option is available to you.
- Remember the airplane rule. On an airplane you are always told to put on your own oxygen mask before you help others. It is the same thing for mental health; you cannot take care of others unless you have taken care of yourself. This is a good one for everyone!
- When you are feeling good about life, write notes on small pieces of paper about what you are doing or who you are with. They will serve as reminders of what feels good. Put them all in a special box and pull that out when you are feeling sad as a reminder of good times, and what might help you get back to feeling good.
- Do one thing at a time and truly live in the moment. In order to live in the moment it is helpful to organize daily schedules ahead of time and plan concrete tasks that help you work toward bigger goals. Schedules and plans should be realistic and flexible, keeping in mind that sometimes they will not go according to the plan. Also, there is a difference between what you want to get done, and what you actually need to do. It’s ok if you don’t get everything done.
- With kids, comes mess. Your house does not need to be immaculate.
- Make time for friends. A weekly yoga class or hike followed by coffee is a great way to exercise and spend time with friends.
- Financial stress can take its toll. Developing a budget and a financial plan can help. Seek out credit counseling if you are feeling you are not keeping up with your bills.
- Ensuring you are getting good nutrition is important.
- Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed…friends and family, or a professional counsellor can help you through these moments.
- Music can be so uplifting, especially learning a new instrument or singing!
Some other suggestions for reducing anxiety are: yoga and meditation, a bath and a book, essential oils used in a diffuser, and spending time with pets appreciating their unconditional and nonjudgmental love. What do you do for self-care?