We know we should take care of ourselves, but sometimes it is hard to know where to start. Let me break it down for you with this free printable daily self-care checklist.
The Problem with Avoidance
In the past, when life got hard, it made me anxious, so I did what I do best: avoidance.
I felt like I was always stressed and that’s just the way life would always be–so my strategy for dealing with it was basically denial. If I didn’t acknowledge it, it couldn’t affect me. Right?
But when I became sick with Lyme disease and my doctors told me to try to address and eliminate stress in my life, I laughed. Like out loud.
I didn’t know that was a thing. For real—to be able to get rid of stress in your life?
Stress had become something I could no longer avoid or deny. Stress may not have caused my Lyme disease, but I was learning it was directly impacting my healing. Through the guidance of doctors, a lot of self-help books, and self-reflection, I have learned ways to actually reduce stress in my life.
Start with Mindset
A lot of our stress starts with mindset. We have to actively CHOOSE how to view our days and circumstances. The first thing I did was to start a gratitude journal. Every day I would list 3 things that I was grateful for or that I did well. Over time I began to see hope in my day-to-day where there was none before.
I also found a sign that said “Choose Joy” and hung it in a spot where I would see it first thing in the morning. It was a daily reminder that I could choose my mindset–that I didn’t have to be a victim of the hardships of life.
I began taking the time to wake up early before my family to have a minute to myself and started a daily meditation practice that GREATLY improved how I reacted to stressful situations.
I learned that a lot of the stress in my life was actually self-inflicted. Meaning, that I was creating habits that would stress me out or build situations up in my mind where I believed there was a problem when there wasn’t. Being self-aware is a discipline and one we all need to practice on a regular basis if we want to be able to deal with stress in healthier ways.
How Are You Dealing with Stress?
What would happen in your life if you intentionally took time EVERY DAY to do something that helped you deal with stress in a way that caused it to not completely run your life?
I started slow. And over the years I’ve added things I can do to help me with this avoidance mindset and deal with my anxiety:
- Start a gratitude list
- Listen to praise music
- Get dressed even if you’re not going anywhere
- Learn to meditate
- Practice mindfulness
- Get outside every day
- Work on a hobby
- Read uplifting books
- Write in a journal
- Read your Bible
- Pray daily
- Get a massage or nails done
- Take more baths
- Light scented candles during the day
- Ride a bike or take a walk around the neighborhood
- Stretch with yoga exercises
- Drink lots of water
- Learn more about yourself in a self-guided journal
I started forming better habits—and learned ways to actually reach goals! Over time, I learned empathy and the power of being the first to reach out. I saw people in need of help even when I was struggling.
Self-care is not selfish—we all need it—it’s what helps us grow into the people we want to become!
Print this Free Self-Care Checklist
It can be hard to know where to start, so I’ve made it easy for you. Print this free Daily Self-Care Checklist and then I want you to do ONE THING each day for the next couple weeks. As you go through them, write down more ideas you have on the back and do those too!
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If you want to reduce stress in your life, then you need to be intentionally taking care of yourself. Maybe you need to get up earlier to make time or set an alarm for the middle of the day. I don’t care when you do it, just do it! You’ve got this, friend.
Before you go, read even more posts on self-care here:
- 3 Ways to Practice Self-Care During the Holidays
- 4 Ways to Unwind
- 5 Ways Jesus Modeled Self-Care in the New Testament
- What Is Mindfulness and How to Start Using it Today
- How to Slow Down Your Day
You’ve got this!
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