Self Care Strategies to Help Reduce Stress

Published On: June 7, 2017|Categories: Employee Wellness, Mental Health|
Reduce stress by writing things down

Self-care has become a commonplace term that refers to any methods or practices a person uses to improve overall well-being. This umbrella term can be used to describe practices that enhance physical, spiritual, mental, social or emotional well-being. Thus, the nature of self-care is vast.

While the potential practices you can do that could fall under the category of self-care is potentially unlimited, if you’re looking for specific outcomes it can be easier to narrow down your search for avenues of implementing self-care. While anyone can add activities to his or her routine to grow in confidence, decrease anxiety or improve mood, this article will look at self-care to reduce stress.

Read on to learn about the best strategies, exercises and relaxation techniques to reduce the stress that comes from work, personal life or both.

Self-care to reduce stress

Self-care aimed at minimizing stress is a practice well worth your time. While the initial thought of adding more to your schedule may sound counterintuitive, once you implement regular self-care that’s actually effective for you, you’ll find the perks to validate the time spent.

Self-care to reduce stress are activities that promote a balance of life activities and offer healing and peace from the stressors most prominent in your life. Many people attempt to implement self-care when stress feels out of control, and while self-care can be useful at any point in your journey, the best time to build a routine is as a preventative measure against stress.

Regardless of your current stress load, self-care can both relieve tension and help you handle it moving forward. In order to find effective self-care strategies, consider the following points.

  • Effective self-care should start in manageable increments so the task itself doesn’t feel overbearing
  • Effective self-care is more about which activities bear the most fruit (peace, mental clarity, relaxation) over which activities are more attractive initially (for example, you may find that working out makes you feel amazing, even if it seems less appealing than treating yourself to a latte as self-care)
  • Effective self-care utilizes your range of resources and isn’t too time-consuming or costly
  • Effective self-care is something that can be regularly repeated
  • Effective self-care is always followed by evaluation and change to a routine when necessary

When you’re building a habit of prioritizing your well-being, self-care to reduce stress shouldn’t feel like a chore or an indulgence, but an investment in yourself.

Activities that reduce stress

Whether you’re an expert in self-care or just beginning today, it’s nice to have a variety of options to choose from that you know work for you. If you’re hoping to mix up your schedule, start from scratch or need something extra to deal with recent stressors, check out these top activities that reduce stress.

Get outside

The stress of daily life compounds on top of itself, making simple enjoyments feel too far out of reach to take advantage of. While whisking away on a tropical vacation isn’t feasible for most people, spending time in the great outdoors can offer a quick escape. Nature and natural sunlight can boost mood and increase gratitude, naturally reducing stress.

Spend time with loved ones

Combatting stress takes all forms, and perhaps the most fun is spending time with friends and family. Your loved ones can offer distraction, help you gain perspective on your stress or just listen with empathy. Those closest to you can offer actionable advice, which could lead to solutions to a particular stressor.

Exercises to reduce stress

One of the best ways to manage stress and the negative effects that come with it is to incorporate healthy movement into your normal lifestyle.


Walking, jogging, hiking or running all offer amazing perks to those who partake. Stress can take its toll on your body and keeping yourself in active shape helps to reverse the damage that has been done. You’ll also find that when you work out regularly you have the energy and strength you need to tackle hard things.


The weightless feeling of swimming is certainly one of the top exercises to reduce stress. Whether you’re swimming laps, floating around or taking a water aerobics class, you’ll enjoy the ease of being in the water. It’s low stress on your joints and low stress on your mind.

Relaxing techniques to reduce stress

No matter the source of the tension in your life, relaxation techniques to reduce stress can go a long way in alleviating the worst of the unease.

Deep breathing

Perhaps the quickest fix out of all relaxing techniques to reduce stress is the practice of deep breathing. There are numerous forms of breathing techniques, like square breathing, breathing meditations and visual breathing exercises. No matter what you choose, you’ll decrease your heart rate, inducing a state of calmness.

Screen break

Aim for at least an hour every night when you are living completely screen-free. This may take some pre-planning (like printing out a recipe or picking up a book from the library) but it’s a wonderful option to multitask while taking care of your mental well-being and decreasing stress. Especially if your stress stems from work or relationships, it will be a welcome break from potential emails and messages.


Whether a steam shower, jacuzzi tub or ordinary bath is at your disposal, bathing in a deliberately slow manner is a wonderful tool to rest your body and your mind. Bring a book instead of a screen to relax in the bath or just sit with your thoughts. Take as long as you need and this reinforces your whole system to unwind.

Handling stress with help

Like many people, if you feel that the stress in your life has become overwhelming, you can benefit from professional services. When you work with Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP, you’ll have access to mental health counseling and plentiful resources that can help you take steps towards decreasing stress today. Our professionals can give you tools and tips for self-care to reduce stress that is personalized to your needs.

Contact Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP today to learn more.

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