Can practicing daily self-care habits really reduce stress? We are all used to seeing and hearing the word stress and for some of us, we cringe at its mention. But, what if you didn’t need to cringe? What if a change of mindset and a few daily self-care habits could take the ‘stress’ out of ‘stressing’? What if we can arrive at self-care meaning that works uniquely for our needs and helps us to thrive in life?
Life has many stressors, and it’s impossible to list them all so let’s skip that. Let’s focus our attention on managing day-to-day stress that may arise at work, at home, or even at the grocery store.
In this article, I will share with you 25 daily self-care habits to help manage stress. The 25 habits that will be shared are simple acts that can be considered self-care. That’s right, the key to living a stress-free or ‘stress-minimal’ life begins with self-care. And now, self-care does not have to be complicated or expensive.
Sometimes self-care may sound time-consuming and expensive. This is because people may make it seem like a major thing rather than a simple act that we should be doing each day. When I think of self-care I think of things that I do for myself, that allow me to enjoy each day. These are basic things that I do to take care of my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. So, I encourage you to craft a self-care meaning that truly works for you.
What self-care means to you will be very different from what it means to the next person. If you need some help coming up with self-care ideas then definitely check out our self-care activity cards.
These Self Care Activity Cards are fun and have the perfect mix of cost-effectiveness and treating yourself. There are 30 activities for you to enjoy.
Now, here are some self-care habits that you can try. Some of these items from the list are also a part of our activity cards.
25 Daily Self-Care Habits to Help Manage Stress
1. Exercise – at the start or end of the day.
Yes! That word exercises again. Exercising is one of the best ways to help manage stress. When you exercise, your blood gets flowing and that helps to release endorphins which is a type of hormone that has the power to boost your mood instantly. Apart from that, depending on the time of exercise you partake in you can definitely get some pent-up feelings out.
2. Drink Tea- Green tea may be a great choice.
Many of us opt for coffee in the mornings but a nice cup of tea may be the key to helping you to manage stress. Many teas are herbal and the herbs that they come from generally have mood-altering properties. For instance, Green tea is said to be high in L-Theanine which is an amino acid that is known for helping people to relax.
3. Stretch- as a daily self-care habit
Stretching is a lighter form of working out but it is extremely powerful. Stretching in this form encompasses yogic stretching as well. If you are not into practicing yoga, then let’s call it a daily stretch routine. Similar to exercise, stretching will help to release those bodily chemicals that will work to boost your mood. The upside is that you can do it every day and you can do it anywhere. Here is a quick stretch that you can do as you sit at your desk:
Posterior shoulder stretch:
- while sitting,
- Hold one arm across your body.
- Pull your elbow into your chest, you should feel your shoulder gently stretching.
- Repeat on the other side.
Soothing smells. Smelling good things will definitely boost your mood. No explanation needed -joke-. While research states that aromatherapy helps to reduce the levels of stress hormones, some studies are yet to offer the same results. However, think back to the times when you walked into a room that smelled like ‘pumpkin spice’ and answer the question… did it boost your mood? Don’t like pumpkin, replace it with something you like. If the answer is yes, then perhaps you can add this to your list of mood-boosting activities.
5. Take a break from screens or social media
Sometimes if you are having a stressful day, the best thing might be to step back and allow yourself to be without outer influences from social media or the line. Especially, if the stressor is from that source.
6. Speak with someone you care for.
Having a light and uplifting conversation with someone you care for might be just what you need to get out of a rut.
7. Eat a healthy meal
You are what you eat they say. Often when stress, many people reach for a snack or a meal. I know, I do. What you can do is keep a few healthy snacks around so that if that time comes, you have something that will actually help you to feel better. Nuts are always a great choice.
8. Laugh. Laugh. Laugh
Laughing also has the power to release those feel-good hormones. If you are feeling down, try finding a joke, watching some comedy, or even creating your own.
9. Try a meditation practice.
Meditation here means to take a minute or two to yourself. daily meditation can prove to be a powerful daily self-care habit. Perhaps, you can close your eyes, and just allow yourself to take a few deep breaths, roll your shoulders back and relax.
10. Keep a to-do list.
Having too much or not enough to do can definitely be stressful. Keep a to-do list to help you stay on track and organized. One of my daily self-care habits as well as organizational activities is to make a top 3 list. This way I know the most important tasks that I need to accomplish.
11. Take a mid-day nap – especially if you didn’t get a full night’s rest.
Not getting enough sleep is a sure way to feel the pressures of the day. Try to get adequate rest on a regular basis. As well as, take a nap whenever you need it. Plus, some studies have shown that napping can boost brain health.
12. Practice random acts of kindness.
Performing random acts of kindness will not only make you feel good but it will also make a difference to someone else.
13. Write down what you are grateful for.
Expressing daily gratitude fills you up with joy and happiness. Taking a moment to dwell on the positives will for sure help you to focus less on the stress.
14. Listen to music.
This is another activity that is geared at releasing those feel-good hormones. The soothing powers of music are well accepted and used worldwide so why not add it as a daily activity whenever stress arises.
15. Take a walk in nature.
Taking a walk in nature offers you the benefits of many items on this list. It’s exercise and stretching but you can take a sit to meditate, listen to music on the way and even take along a bottle of water to hydrate.
16. Drink enough water.
Because of hydration! Your brain and body need water to function properly.
Being that we also get into loc’d hair care on my other blog, I must say that if you are on a hair growth journey, drinking plenty of water will ensure that you see results. Water is the most important. You can track your hair growth process as well as water intake with our loc’d natural hair journal or bundle with the hair length tracker.
17. Take a break from working to relax.
Sometimes all you need is a break. If something you are working on gets stressful or frustrating then take a break and revisit it later with fresh eyes.
18. Read or write a personal quote.
Reading uplifting quotes will help you to get your mind in a positive and hopeful state. If you are so inclined, you can journal or create your own personal quotes that you can read whenever you are feeling down. You can even share them online so that they may help others -random acts of kindness-.
19. Show affection to yourself.
The idea here is simply to be kind to yourself. Tell yourself ‘ I love you’ or ‘I am here for you just as you would say it to someone else who may be feeling down.
20. Say positive affirmations.
Affirmations are just gentle reminders geared at self-empowerment and positive thinking. They have been known to help boost mood. Here are a few you can try:
- I am relaxed
- I am calm
- I value peace and actively seek it
- Let go of worry.
This is easier said than done but we all know that worry doesn’t change anything. Instead of worrying, try to find a solution or let it go altogether.
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21. Take a deep breath – daily self-care habits.
Many times we fail to breathe. Taking deep intentional breaths is a great way to get back into the moment and foster a spirit of relaxation.
22. Focus on the big picture
Don’t sweat the small things too much- focus on the big picture.
23. Indulge in problem-solving
If something goes wrong, try to find new paths to the same destination.
24. Celebrate constantly
Along your journey, you simply must celebrate the small wins. As well as celebrate yourself. Each step matters, don’t hesitate to recognize your hard work along the way. Again, make this based on your self-care meaning!
25. Take some personal time.
Sometimes a break isn’t enough. If the issue is bigger than any of the daily tasks here can manage then perhaps you are in need of some personal time. You can even have a chat with someone who is trained to listen.
The list here is not exhaustive nor is the listed items complicated. The items on the list by themselves or together have the power to help you feel good every day. I hope you find this list of daily habits to help manage stress helpful. If you would like to get a printable list of daily self-care items, click here for our Selfcare Checklist. I created this list of 64 daily self-care items to help you relieve stress and live the life you deserve.
Use a lot of the ideas on this list to help as you craft your meaning of self-care. Remember that a self-care meaning should be unique to you as we all have different needs. If you like any of the resources that I’ve shared, consider signing up for our mailing list. You will receive a set of Free self-care activity cards as a gift as well as other weekly resources & tips.