Stressed? Top 10 Self-Care Tips

My daughter and I have been studying high school health this year as part of our homeschooling. (The link to the Apologia health book we are using is at the bottom of this post, in case you’re interested. The self-care tips that my daughter humorously dramatized in this post come straight out of her book.) We have learned a lot of interesting things about physical, mental, and emotional health. We have also been reminded of some basics of how to take care of our bodies. As a result, we’ve been exercising a lot more and drinking fruit smoothies.

In order to not be emotionally stressed out, here are some self-care tips to keep in mind:

Self-Care Tip #1: Eat regular, healthful meals.

Don’t eat mindlessly. Plan your meals and choose healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, protein, and whole grains. If you have a test or need to think, eat some protein, raw vegetables, or orange juice. These have helped me personally to have a surge of energy to think more clearly.

Self-Care Tip #2: Avoid junk food.

If you have a healthy meal, you can have a small amount of dessert without having your body feel yucky, because the nutrients of the meal counteract the empty calories that would make your energy crash if you ate them on their own. Pay attention to how sluggish you feel after eating potato chips on an empty stomach, and compare that to how you feel after eating raw broccoli on an empty stomach. Your body feels WAY better with the raw vegetable.

Self-Care Tip #3: Be sure your diet includes enough protein with all the essential amino acids.

If you are deficient in protein, you may feel depressed, moody, or anxious. Your brain needs amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Like I said earlier, eat some protein before a test to think more clearly. One of my sons is taking the SAT this year, so he will be eating eggs and ham for breakfast before he takes the test.

Self-Care Tip #4: Get enough sleep.

If you get no sleep for many days in a row, you go insane. Literally, when you are sleepy and drive a car, you act similar to a drunk driver. Even with a small amount of sleep, you are more likely to get sick, make mistakes in judgment, and not be able to enjoy your life. Most people need 8 hours of sleep. I’ve done a lot of research to find out how to get better sleep, which you can read about here: Getting Better Sleep (Part 1) & Getting Better Sleep (Part 2)

Self-Care Tip #5: Drink enough water.

Most people don’t drink nearly enough water. Your body doesn’t function properly when it is dehydrated, leading to headaches, dry skin, etc. Optimally you need about one gallon of water (or other liquids) a day.

Self-Care Tip #6: Get appropriate exercise, not too much or too little.

Exercise helps to improve mood, boost energy, and improve sleep, among other things. Twenty minutes of aerobic exercise 3-5 days a week is good. If you overdo exercise, lactic acid build-up can cause muscle pain. You are more likely to sustain injuries as well.

Self-Care Tip #7: Limit grief and rumination. If you find yourself trapped in them, decide to find something better to do with your time and energy.

There is a chapter on emotional stability in this health book (see link at the bottom of this post). Apparently we have four main negative emotions: sadness, fear, guilt, and anger. It is important not to dwell on any of these negative emotions, but to rest and be refreshed and take your mind off your problems. Dwelling on the negative will not help you rise above your circumstances and have peace and joy in your life.

Self-Care Tip #8: Create a regular schedule for yourself.

You can accomplish so much more in your day with much less effort if you have a consistent schedule. If your mind is used to focusing on a specific task at a certain time of day, your body adjusts to that rhythm. You get on a roll: by accomplishing tasks, you are empowered and get adrenaline to accomplish more tasks. Don’t forget to schedule down-time into your day as well.

Self-Care Tip #9: Focus on one task at a time.

When your mind is scattered on different tasks at the same time, you don’t do as well as if you give your full attention to the task at hand. For a more full explanation with examples from my life, read Multitasking Burns Your Dinner.

Self-Care Tip #10: You cannot avoid all stress, but do not add unnecessary stress to your life. Limit your commitments to what is manageable.

Don’t add anything to your schedule without praying about it. Many times we crowd our schedules with so much that we have stress and can’t enjoy life.

Parrooom…Ch… (That’s a drum roll, if you didn’t hear it.) Those are the top 10 self-care tips that we chose to include in this post. There are 21 self-care tips altogether in the health book (affiliate link) Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition by Apologia. We hope you enjoyed my daughter’s crazy antics in the goofy video depicting how to overcome stress and live a more healthy life.

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20 Responses to “Stressed? Top 10 Self-Care Tips”

  1. Amy Hagerup says:

    Adorable and so entertaining. Your daughter reminds me of you, Susan. I loved the humorous video summary of the tips too.

    • Susan says:

      My daughter has a similar personality that I had at her age, and she is a total ham! She loves being the star of the show and thinking up humorous ways to learn something.

  2. I struggle to get enough sleep. Anxiety always strikes as I lay down… but when I can sleep well I notice a huge difference!

  3. Jodi says:

    Great tips!!! Now to actually put some in use… that is the struggle

  4. Lisa says:

    These are all great tips! I love the video! These are all basic and should be common sense, but many of us (including myself) neglect them far too often.

    • Susan says:

      Yes, we all tend to forget the basics and need to be reminded. I hope that my daughter’s goofiness will remind people of these basics.

  5. Becky says:

    These are all such great tips! We are pretty good at following most of these. We need to work on the rest. I love the video too!

  6. Erica says:

    When I mess up one of those, a domino effect happens and I mess up the others. I skip exercise, I eat poorly. Loved this post!

    • Susan says:

      Thanks, I often do the same thing, and I end up feeling like a slug. It was fun to record these tips to remind ourselves of how to live in a healthy way.

  7. Amanda says:

    I love the pictures that went along with this. I am working on drinking more water and getting enough sleep.

  8. Laura says:

    Great tips! Negative self talk is such an energy zapper!

  9. Christine says:

    Great tips! I think its awesome that you mentioned not too much exercising! I think sometimes people think you can’t exercise enough and they tire themselves out!

  10. Thara says:

    I keep a planner and diary. In it I write down some important details about that day in question and so on. For example I like to write down bits of appointment information and crucial details on local museums and zoos etc. I also scribble down other key facts about my dog too. Make notes. If I am preparing a talk the diary comes in handy. It is a effective method in which I maintain lists of things to take back to the library or shops. Good luck.

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