Parker Palmer, a world-renowned writer, speaker and activist once said:

“Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to our true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”

Why is self-care important to a person’s health? Anyone who has ever been on an airplane knows the answer. Flight attendants always tell passengers traveling with young children that they should put on their own oxygen mask before helping their child. On a plane, the implication is obvious; you cannot help your child if you yourself are gasping for air.

The same is true in your daily routine. If you don’t take the time to re-charge your batteries you will not work at your optimal level.

Before you say you are too busy for a little ‘me-time’ realize that taking a little time for yourself can greatly reduce your stress levels. This can, of course, seem impossible when your responsibilities seem to outnumber the available time in a given day. Yet showing small acts of kindness to yourself is vital to your overall health.

Psychology Today, identifies seven types of self-care which are easy to incorporate into your day.


To calm a busy mind, focus on the present by paying attention to the sensations around you—sights, smells, sounds, tastes, touch. A few examples include:

  • Breathe in fresh air
  • Snuggle under a cozy blanket
  • Listen to running water
  • Take a hot shower or a warm bath
  • Cuddle with a pet
  • Burn a scented candle

When you are feeling extremely stressed out, make the time to do something you enjoy such as:

  • Garden
  • Watch a movie
  • Do a craft project
  • Write in a journal
  • Walk your dog

Challenging your brain in a new way can also be rewarding. Tackle a task such as:

  • Clean out a junk drawer or a closet
  • Try a new activity
  • Drive to a new place
  • Immerse yourself in a crossword puzzle
  • Do a word search
  • Read something on a topic you wouldn’t normally

Define your key values – the things you hold dear to your heart – and reflect on those things by:

  • Attending your house of worship
  • Read poetry or inspirational quotes
  • Meditate/pray
  • Spend time in nature
  • Write down five things you are grateful for

It’s hard to control your emotions when you are coping with stress. Don’t label your emotions as good or bad, instead:

  • Accept your feelings
  • Write down your feelings
  • Cry when you need to
  • Laugh when you can

Being active reduces stress so try one of these activities:

  • Do yoga
  • Go for a walk or a run
  • Dance
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Take a nap


Staying in touch with others is an important part of self-care. This can mean activities such as

  • Having lunch with a good friend
  • Calling a friend on the phone
  • Participating in a book club
  • Joining a support group


In addition to these ideas from Psychology Today, try to reward yourself with enough sleep and healthy food. Make yourself a priority and you will be amazed at how this can reduce your stress levels.

Aug, 27, 2015