Self-Care Strategies

Self-Care Strategies for Dealing with Stress, Trauma and Crisis

When dealing with stress, trauma and crisis, it is crucial that you remember to care for yourself. Those who recover most quickly are those who take specific actions to manage their responses and feelings.

Here are some self-care strategies you may choose to try:

  • Stay away from mood-altering substances, including drugs and alcohol
  • Eat well-balanced meals
  • Give yourself permission to feel bad–schedule it in your day
  • Give yourself permission to feel good
  • If possible, put off major life decisions
  • Structure your time and develop a routine
  • Take breaks from periods of isolation
  • Give yourself permission to do something that could feel good to you
  • Exercise–even a little bit
  • Engage in practices that are meaningful to you such as prayer, walking in the woods, sitting quietly, reading inspirational material, taking a bath, or writing in a journal
  • Get plenty of rest so that you feel rested and relaxed
  • Practice stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and visualization
  • Let yourself cry
  • Make small decisions daily to get control of your life back
  • Give yourself permission to focus on someone outside yourself
  • Lower expectation on what you think  you “should be doing”
  • Talk it out–even with a professional
  • Give and get physical touch–a hug can do wonders
  • Remind yourself that your reactions are normal
  • Do something that puts a smile on someone’s face
Adapted from MCC Behavioral Care Inc. and Crisis Clinic