6. Creative Expression.
Choose a creative outlet to convey your thoughts and feelings. This could be journaling, writing poetry, painting or drawing, doing photography, dancing, or playing music. The key here is channeling your emotional state through an art form. While some may choose to do this seriously and take lessons, self-taught artists of all kinds also get the job done. And, don’t strive for perfection! Simply immersing yourself in creative arts as self-care activity can ward off adverse thoughts and feelings.
7. Play With A Pet.
If you are lucky and can have a pet, there may be few better ways to foster self-care . If you have one, you know what I mean. Cuddling with a pet, taking care of them, and feeling their unconditional love is something we rarely experience on such a consistent basis.
8. Meet And Communicate With Friends.
Research has found that meeting with peers and talking about what’s going on with you — including past events you’re still processing — prevents burnout and promotes well-being. Group connections are so important for fostering resilience and releasing chemicals in the brain that support well-being. And the activities don’t have to be just talking.
Things like doing art projects together, playing with slime, or gaming ( Dungeons and Dragons is having a huge comeback!) all work. And despite the pressure to have huge numbers of “friends” or “followers,” it only takes a few special friends to make a big difference in your life.
9. Appreciate Nature.
There’s a reason we treasure our state and national parks, waterways, and beaches. Think of the times you enjoyed a great sunrise or sunset, took a scenic hike, rode your bike in a park, played in the snow, or just took a walk around your neighborhood. Remember how it felt? There is something to our relationship with the outdoors that makes us feel good if we can allow ourselves a few minutes not to rush or be disturbed by our ring tones.
10. Turn Off Smart Phones (At Least For Part Of The Day).
It’s hard. But really, you don’t need it on constantly, as if it’s stitched to your side. You can take a break, even for just part of the day. There may be some withdrawal or anxiety about not being right there for what you think is critical but just stop and think. How many texts, Instagram stories, or other digital communications do you need to see immediately? Very few! Once you try it, you may actually find it refreshing to have a break from the constant notifications.
11. Do Something For Someone Else.
Our brains are wired for giving. In fact, the chemicals released by the brain during the process of giving is far more rewarding than when we receive gifts. Joining in even small local efforts, such as in community centers, soup kitchens, geriatric life centers, children’s hospitals or after-school programs – all foster the feeling (and reality) that you are making a positive impact on another person’s life.
Bottom line: In all times, we need ways to help maintain our ability to cope. Self-care techniques are fundamental for preventing stress before it strikes, and are fundamental for sustaining our equilibrium during hard times.
Please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful.
This article originally appeared on and was written by the author (Dr. Gene Beresin) for the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds. Republished with permission.