8 Self Care Habits For Everyday Stress Relief

Thinking about self care, we often picture face masks, bubble baths, and candles. It’s easy to forget that self care can also take the form of inexpensive daily habits. Simply taking a few minutes each day to nourish our mental and physical health can be transformative.

Here are eight simple habits to transform your life by nurturing your mental and physical vessel:


1. Turn off notifications

Everyone can relate to enjoying themselves and living in the moment, only to be drawn back to their phone by a loud “PING” or their screen briefly lighting up. Allowing your attention to be consumed by notifications right as they arrive can take away from being fully mindful and appreciative of the present. Switching off notifications for the apps that exhaust your attention the most or putting your phone on “do not disturb” will allow you to devote your full self to what you are currently experiencing.


2. Binge on your fave health foods

The foods we eat can either drain or nourish our energy and mental as well as physical health. You can start introducing changes to your diet slowly by picking one health food that you enjoy. For instance, if you enjoy spinach, you can add a tiny bit to each meal, without the pressure of having to eat healthily all the time. Taking this approach instead of trying to completely overhaul your diet will add little stress and enormous benefits to your mental health.


3. Live curiously

Dedicate a few minutes each day to indulge your curiosity in learning something new. There are unlimited resources at our fingertips, from books to podcasts to a simple google search. Opening your mind up to new information can channel a stronger wonder and appreciation of all life has to offer. Engaging in content about things that fascinate you will allow your mind to grow.


4. Give gratitude

Despite how terrible a day you may have had, there is always something to be grateful for. Creating gratitude lists at the end of the day reaffirms all the good that is present in your life, gently reminding you to keep a positive mental outlook. This is something that can be done either daily or several times a week. It’s up to you how many things you add to your list. Try starting off with just 3, and you can build from there. Especially on your bad days, writing what you’re grateful for is something that can truly give you perspective.


5. Tidy up your space

A clean space can help you to clear your head. You don’t necessarily need to spend hours deep cleaning, but spending 5 minutes a day to tidy up the space you spend the most time in can help you feel better. While 5 minutes may seem short, you would be surprised by how much you’re able to achieve and how your mood improves.


6. Practice affirmations daily

When we repeatedly tell ourselves something, we unconsciously begin to believe it. Negative self talk happens when we bring ourselves down, either with others or in our heads. This can affect our actions, decisions, and how we carry ourselves. Practicing daily affirmations involves vocally encouraging ourselves in areas we struggle in. Some examples of affirmations that we can practice are “I am worthy, I will do what is right for me, I am confident,” and so on. It is especially important to find affirmations that resonate with you personally. You might not initially believe these statements, but regularly voicing them over time will eventually lead you to see their truth.


7. Talk to yourself

Journaling can be a safe space for unpacking recent life events and dealing with any lingering emotions. Regular journaling can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and how we’ve grown. Countless times I’ve found myself noticing how much my thought process and values have changed while re-reading past journal entries. Freely writing down reflections creates a stronger sense of self and emotional awareness. Journaling doesn’t have to feel like a chore. It’s okay to only do it when you feel like it. Anything can serve as your journal—you can create voice recordings, video recordings, typed notes, or classic handwritten entries.


8. Get your mind moving

We often underestimate the power that movement can have over our mood. The truth is our physical and mental health go hand in hand. Even a few minutes of intentional movement each day can be enough to help to lift your spirits. Not everyone has the time or energy to commit to a daily exercise routine, and that’s okay. Simply setting aside 5-10 minutes for movement throughout the week can be beneficial. Doing a few stretches, following a dance tutorial, walking or jogging around a room can be invigorating enough to improve your mood for the day.



Tiffany Liang

Tiffany is a second year college student living in Southern California. She is passionate about mental health and self care, and hopes to use her voice to help others achieve self growth.

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