Everyone could use a little self care but actually engaging in it is the hard part. Most people either don’t know where to start, feel like they don’t have the time, or are too consumed with taking care of others. I wanted to create a list of my favorite ways to decompress after a long day of work. Now, you don’t have to have a stressful job to engage in a little self care. Many people don’t realize they are stressed until they are beyond the point of self care relieving the feeling.
Don’t get down on yourself for feeling stressed, no matter how big or small the matter is. Stress is a natural response of the body and is the result of our adrenal system aka adrenaline center (think fight, flight, or freeze) firing off adrenaline to cope with the stressor. When your adrenal glands become overworked or if you have high stress levels this triggers cortisol to be released into your body to control/cope with the stress. Now cortisol, although it is a stress hormone, is a vital part of our bodies. Our bodies need cortisol to regulate stress levels and it is normal for cortisol levels to fluctuate throughout the day as a response to stressors.
However, it is not healthy if your cortisol levels (or stress levels) are remaining high all day and aren’t returning to a normal level. This phenomenon can trigger adrenal fatigue which can cause random spikes of cortisol throughout the day that are very hard for your body to regulate. This causes for your body to constantly feel fatigued no matter how much sleep or rest you get. If the adrenal fatigue is not addressed appropriately it could lead to the condition worsening to the point of no reversal. The best way to be proactive is to engage in daily self care. If you experience frequent episodes of stress that trigger your fight or flight response you are more at risk for Adrenal Fatigue.
If you would like to learn more information, click here for the official website on adrenal fatigue.
- Take your dog for a walk, walk a friend’s dog, or sign up to volunteer at the shelter to walk a dog in need of some love and attention!
- Write a story about or draw/paint a picture of the current emotion you are feeling
- Paint your nails
- Take a bath
- Drink a cup of tea (or coffee!)
- Put on some music and DANCE
- Clean your home (may not be a fun way to engage in self care but a clean environment promotes relaxation)
- Go for a swim
- Go to the gym
- Take a walk around a public park or an area with a lot of foliage
- Go to a museum and interpret the art work
- Get a massage
- Read a book that you can get lost in
- Write a list of all the things you need to do to get it off of your brain
- Create an evening routine for yourself to wind down from the day
- Cook a healthy meal for yourself and a friend or loved one
- Listen to instrumental music
- Exfoliate and apply lotion to your body
- Watch your favorite movie
- Play a board game with friends
- Go to the library and look for a book that stands out to you or just enjoy the peacefulness
- Go window shopping
- Walk around the city you live in and find a new restaurant or coffee shop to try
- Plan your weekends/days off (list what you would like to get done over the weekend, the events you want to go to, and the things that you NEED to do.)
- Do yoga or some light stretching
- Take 10 deep breaths if you catch yourself clenching your jaw or holding your breath
- Go for a drive
- Make your favorite dessert
- Read a trashy magazine
- Masturbate or have sex
- Go forest bathing (aka find a pretty place with foliage and take deep breaths and take it all in)
- Turn off all of your electronics
- Go outside and listen to the world going on around you
- Chew some gum
- Watch animal videos
- Watch a documentary on something that interests you
- Attend a lecture
- Write in a journal
- Write poetry
- Go for a run
- Listen to a podcast
- Redecorate your apartment or one room in your home
- Play a video game
What are the ways that you engage in self care?
Reference: https://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/cortisol-and-adrenal-fatigue-is-your-cortisol-too-low-or-too-high/+ My own experience