Self-Care Tips During Stressful Times

Self-care is what you do for yourself to maintain good physical and mental health. Often in times of stress, we may be less inclined to take good care of ourselves and put self-care on hold. However, it is during stressful times when it is especially important to be aware of how well we are caring for ourselves to maintain our health.

How do you Practice Self-Care?

If you aren’t sure where to start, follow these 4 self-care tips that will help reduce your stress and help you to live a healthier life.

  1. Choose healthy foods and drinks – our minds and body run more efficiently when we supply it with what it needs function properly. USDA ChooseMyPlate recommends consuming more vegetables and fruits, whole grains, low or non-fat dairy, and a variety lean protein. This includes foods that are low in saturated fats, sodium and added sugars. Don’t forget about your drinks, too. Keep your alcohol intake and sugar-sweetened beverages to a minimum.


  1. Get enough sleep – Sleep protects your mental and physical health. It helps you to manage stress, think clearer, and make better decisions. Other benefits of getting enough sleep include a healthier heart, your ability to balance hormones that may impact how much you eat, and how well your immune system fights infections. The National Institutes of Health recommends 7-8 hours per day for adults 18 and older.


  1. Move more – Begin or continue your physical activity routine. If your normal routine has been disrupted, find a different approach to moving more, such as an online exercise class. Aside from the many health benefits of physical activity, such as, getting better sleep, helping with weight control, and improving emotional resilience, it triggers a release of endorphins that give us a feeling of happiness. Be sure to consult your physician before beginning a new exercise routine.


  1. Stay socially connected – Even now when we are physically distancing from one another, this does not mean we should be socially There are many ways to stay connected even when “in person” chats are limited. Yes, we can text to stay connected, but I encourage you to take it one step further and call or video chat with your friends and family. Hearing someone’s voice or seeing and hearing them can add an extra layer of connectedness. Attend an online class or event – an exercise class, support group, educational workshop, or organize an online hangout, dinner, or a coffee date. For more ideas on how to stay connected while practicing physical distancing, click here and scroll down to psychosocial well-being.


In stressful times, positive self-care is critical to your overall health. If you are still feeling stressed after practicing positive self-care tips and other stress management techniques, seek guidance from your physician, mental health professional, or faith leader.

Additional Resources



Posted: July 31, 2020

Category: Health & Nutrition, UF/IFAS Extension, Work & Life
Tags: #wendywlynch, Health, Health Coach, Healthy, Self Care, Stress Mangement, Wellness

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