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How to Effectively Use Self-Care As a Coping Tool

~by Jennifer Scott

Right now, feeling your best can be something of a challenge. When the world around you is steeped in chaos, it can feel impossible to find inner peace. Lotus Counselling and Wellness Center’s mission is to help people become their best in mind, body, and soul. In challenging times, we have to work harder and dig deeper in order to find our center. Above all, we must treat ourselves and the world around us with kindness. Here are some ways to get started:

Dress for Happiness

We’ve all heard the adage, “Dress for the job you want.” In the same spirit, we can dress for the life we want. It can seem like a small thing to do, but when it gets right down to it, the way we present ourselves to the world matters. Not only does it affect how other people see you, Stylist notes it impacts the way you see yourself. When you’re dressed in clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident, you’ll live easier in your own skin.

There’s no one right style - you can be just as happy rocking jeans and combat boots as you can in a sundress and sandals. The important thing is to make sure you feel good, both emotionally and physically. Comfortable clothing, such as an underwire-free bra or a cozy cardigan, help you navigate the day without pain or discomfort. You can also take this opportunity to try out looks you might have felt too nervous to wear before. Test-driving a look around the house can help you figure out if you really like it without the pressure of going out.

Eat and Move Joyfully

High-stress environments don’t usually lead to healthy habits. Diet and exercise are two aspects of health that are particularly likely to go off track one way or another. It’s easy to wind up turning to high-sugar snacks for a quick dopamine burst, or to skip your daily cardio (again). And of course, the opposite can be true: Many of us deal with stress by eating too little or exercising in a way that isn’t really good for our bodies.

In this, as in all things, balance is key. Focus on eating a variety of foods, including healthy sources of fats and protein, and plenty of fruits and veggies. There’s nothing wrong with throwing a sugary snack or two into the mix sometimes, as well. Try to practice mindful eating to make sure you’re paying attention to your food and your body’s signals as you eat.

When it comes to exercise, focus on getting thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day, or two and a half hours per week. It’s okay to want a challenge, but if you find yourself going above and beyond every day, think critically about that. Are you doing it for the joy of exercising, or is there another reason? Remember, as Aaptiv explains, exercise should always be a thankful expression of your body’s abilities, not a punishment. Be gentle with yourself.

Seek Support

Finally, there is no reason you have to navigate troubled waters alone. There are a ton of resources available that will support you on your wellness journey. For example, you can look into counselling. Mental health is a tricky thing, and it can be extremely difficult to figure out the most effective coping tools on your own. A qualified professional can help you identify the challenges you’re facing and discover the best methods for handling them.

You can also support your physical and mental health through wellness practices such as Reiki and massage therapy. Becoming aware of your energies and your body’s needs empowers you to respond to what your mind and body are telling you. This mindfulness can help you navigate the world with confidence.

Taking care of yourself right now may call for concentrated effort, but you’re worth it. You deserve to feel your best, despite the chaos around you. With the right steps, you can be still amid the storm.

Photo Credit: Pexels

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