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Good self-care helps relieve stress

Quick facts

  • Disruptions can come into our lives at any time; take care of yourself so you are prepared for them. 
  • Getting enough sleep, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet are key to physical health. 
  • Find a self-care strategy that works for you and practice often to relieve stress.
  • Your body and mind benefit from a routine schedule of sleep, meals, work and relaxation.

Life throws curve balls when you least expect them. Illness, death, accidents and disasters all can disrupt your life at any minute. As you move forward into the unknown, it is vital to take good care of yourself. Keeping your body and mind healthy is critical.

Remember to get plenty of sleep, eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and stay active. Be sure to encourage family, friends and roommates to do the same. We all play a role in keeping each other healthy.

Focus on the things you can control, including your reactions to situations and other people. 

Practice self-care

It can be hard to take time for yourself, but you need to. Self-care isn’t selfish. 

Self-care is the active choice to engage in activities required to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health. Overall health includes our physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Self-care strategies include:

  • Being active
  • Deep breathing
  • Cooking
  • Reading
  • Talking to family and friends

Use several strategies that engage your body, mind and spirit. 

Social interaction especially is key to emotional health. Call a parent or grandparent on the phone, video chat a friend, or send a handwritten note to a sibling. Engaging with others benefits not only you but them as well.

Maintain a regular schedule

When everything feels upside down, you may also find it helpful to maintain a regular schedule. Set a wake-up time, have a breakfast plan, work on activities throughout the day, make lunch and dinner and plan time for self-care and checking in with others. 

Avoid spending a lot of time complaining or thinking about when things were “normal.” Control what you can: your attitude, your schedule and your interactions with others.

Author: Emily Krekelberg, Extension farm safety and health educator

Reviewed in 2021

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