Take Care of Yourself
You may not always have control of the circumstances you face. But you can control how well you take care of yourself, which can affect your stress levels and enable you to grow as a person when you face life’s challenges.
Self-care is vital for building resilience when facing unavoidable stressors for several reasons.4 When you’re tired, eating poorly, or generally run-down, you will likely be more reactive to the stress you face in your life. You can even end up creating more problems for yourself by reacting poorly rather than responding from a place of calm inner strength.
Conversely, when you’re taking good care of yourself (both your body and mind), you can be more thoughtfully engaged with whatever comes, use the resources you have in your life, and grow from the challenges you face, rather than merely surviving them.
Taking proper care of your body, soul, and mind can keep you in optimum shape for handling stress. That gives you added resilience to manage those challenges in life that we all face, as well as those that may be unique to you.4
Basics of Self-Care
In terms of self-care strategies, there are several that can help, but some of the most important aspects of self-care include the basics:
- Connection with others
Sleep is important for your emotional and physical wellbeing because too little or poor quality sleep can leave you feeling more stressed and less able to brainstorm solutions to problems you face. Lack of sleep can take a toll on your body as well, both in the short term and in the long run. Poor sleep can even affect your weight.5
The same is true with poor nutrition. A poor diet can leave you feeling bloated and tired, and can add extra pounds over time. You need the right fuel to face life’s challenges, but when stress hits, it’s often the unhealthy food we crave.
Feeling connected to others can help you feel more resilient. Good friends can help you to process negative emotions, brainstorm solutions, and get your mind off your problems when necessary. It’s sometimes challenging to find time for friends when you have a busy, stressful life, but our friends often make us better people both with their support and their inspiration.
Finally, it is important to take a little time for yourself. This can mean journaling and meditation, or it can come in the form of exercise or even watching re-runs at home. This is particularly important for introverts, but everyone needs some time to themselves, at least sometimes.