I often see people during a time that they consider to be the worst time of their life. Whether it is due to parenting challenges, loss of a loved one, career struggles, divorce or any stressful situation, they turn to me for handling stress. Hypnosis is an amazing tool to use for coping with stress and so I love assisting these people. I have several protocols I use with clients and I used myself during the stress I recently endured with the care and loss of family members. Just as important for me was self-care, the same for my clients.

When stress strikes, self-care often takes a backseat. The ability to care for oneself is related to the ability to go within on a consistent basis and listen to with open, compassionate ears.  However, during those stressful periods, we will tend to focus outward. We diminish or disregard our inner life, ignoring our needs and limits.

This can lead to even more stress as a lack of proper sleep, nutrition and exercise will help to wear the body down. I will check in with my clients to be sure they are taking care in those areas. Once that has been explored it is time to look at other ways we care for ourselves and live more fully. Listed below are some great ways to be sure you are taking care of you!

Deep breathes. Anyone who has ever met me or read anything I have written knows how valuable I feel deep breathes are. Even better, go outside and get deep breathes of fresh air!

Wiggle your toes. Yes, whether it is in the water, in sand, tall grass or just naked tootsies on the couch, wiggling toes helps you release the stress you were storing up in those little piggies!

Listen to music. Whether it is slow and relaxing music or up-beat dance music, music heals the soul.

Create. Painting, crafting or sculpting it is easy to get lost in the creation of your project and tune into your inner genius.

Go for a walk. If you have a dog, that pup will love to join you on an adventure. If not, take along a camera and capture your surroundings.

Work on a puzzle. Crossword, jigsaw or word search. Get lost in the solving and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you have completed your puzzle.

Read a good book. It is so much fun to get caught up in the narrative of a great read as well as mentally stimulating.

Dance. Dance like nobody is watching. There are so many benefits to dancing including improved mood, lowers stress and anxiety. According to research carried out by The Arts in Psychotherapy, when the chemicals and hormones are unleashed, they help improve one’s mental state; even one “lively” session of dance can reduce depression.

Scale back. No is an option, use it as a response when you feel your plate is full.

Ask for help. Our friends and loved ones are not mind readers. Give those who love you the opportunity to be there for you.

Be more social. There will be times you need alone time. There are also times that lunch with a friend, hitting a movie with your partner or participating in a book club helps to get you outside of your thoughts.

Whatever works for you, just be sure that you take care of you. Remember that whatever you are experiencing isn’t likely to be permanent and on the other side will be a whole lot of new found wisdom.