By Cheryl Conklin

No matter the season, it is important for you to have an outlet in your home to reduce stress and increase your overall contentment. Every year, more people are discovering the stress-reducing benefits of self-care. While you may think that “regular self-care” sounds like excessive indulgence in massages, spa days, and other luxurious trips, it actually involves the simple, basic habits that keep you healthy in body and in mind.

Getting enough sleep, relaxing throughout the day, reducing stress, and saying “no” to unnecessary projects all seem like obvious healthy habits, but very few people take the time to pursue them on a daily basis. The beauty of self-care is that each facet affects the others. For instance, getting enough sleep reduces stress, which makes it easier for you to relax throughout the day. Both your body and mind are linked. Here are some key ways you can help yourself begin to practice self-care.

Self Care

Tips for Stress Reduction

Stress reduction, in general, is also a key part of self-care. Getting regular sleep will help you start off your day with less stress and more energy. You can follow up that energy boost with occasional naps and moments of relaxation throughout the day if you require them. Far from being a waste of time, taking breaks allows you to center yourself and reinvigorate your mind.

Of course, it is important that you are able to rest in a stress-free environment at home. First, reduce the clutter in your home to make each room of the house more soothing. You may want to go the extra mile and designate one particular room as your self-care room. In your self-care room, light your favorite candles, but try to keep the lighting dim. You can design it any way you’d like — a tropical Zen room, a spa, or simply a quiet, dark space. Once you have designed your room, use it to meditate and center yourself. Meditation can be a very powerful self-care tool, particularly after a stressful day at work.

Sleep: The Foundation of Self Care

One of the most foundational parts of self-care is getting enough sleep each night. Most adults require between seven and nine hours of high-quality sleep. While this number varies depending on each person’s individual needs, most people get far less than their recommended amount of sleep — and the sleep they do get is often low-quality. Establishing a regular sleep schedule can help you fall asleep at the right time and wake up refreshed every night.

Start off by counting backward eight hours from the time you have to wake up each morning, then set that as your bedtime for the next month. Each day, regardless of how stressful or busy your day has been, make a pact with yourself to go to sleep at your established bedtime. It may be incredibly difficult to fall asleep on time the first week, but as you become used to it, you will find that it will get easier. You can make it even easier by staying away from electronics in the hour before bed, and by not having caffeine any later than noon.

Whether you are well-practiced in the art of self-care or are just beginning to explore it for the first time, you will be able to find some benefit in stress reduction. Start off your day on the right note by getting enough sleep, then reduce stress throughout the day by taking breaks, only taking on as many projects as you can handle (which might include saying “no”), and by using your home as a relaxation zone at the end of the day.

Take Care of Yourself

You don’t have to go it alone

Depression, sadness, anxiety disorders, stress, and worry can make it difficult to find happiness in your life. We all need support at different times in our lives.  Most of my clients seek help when their current way of dealing with life’s challenges no longer works for them. With a caring, non-judgmental and solution-focused approach, we will explore your issues and challenges in a safe therapeutic environment at my private practice in Delray Beach, Florida.

I also offer remote online therapy from the comfort and security of home that will allow you to learn more effective ways of managing your anxiety and stress.

Let’s walk the path to freedom from depression and anxiety together. If you’re ready to let go of the sadness, depression, fears, worries, and anxieties that are making life difficult, check out my Anxiety & Depression Support Group hosted the 1st Tuesday of each month at my private practice.