During times of crisis and stress, self care is crucial to keep you healthy, happy and balanced.  During stressful periods in our lives we tend to focus outward, disregarding ourselves and our needs. Ironically, it’s during times of crisis or stress when we need to care for ourselves the most. You have to take care of yourself in order to care for others around you.

We have put together 8 self care tips and healthy habits to help you during times of crisis or high stress.

Have Daily Gratitude

The practice of daily gratitude will quickly shift your perspective onto what is going well in your world and lead you to better appreciate what you have in your life. This is an instant game changer!

How to: Write down 3 things you are grateful for each morning or before bed

Welcome a Positive Perspective

The perspective we have of our lives and the world around us can often take a nose dive and get stuck in a rut or in the negative. Try to lighten the mood and laugh a little. Use a glass-half-full mentality, look for the silver lining and watch your mindset shift for the better.

How to: Create an uplifting mantra or motto for yourself. Try writing it out on a post-it and stick it where you'll see it throughout the day.

Identify and Challenge Your Negative Thoughts 

By recognizing and changing your negative thoughts, you'll instantly have more power over improving your feelings and your behaviors. As we know, practice makes perfect. So staying consistent with this one can actually retrain your brain to be happier!

How to: Track your "triggers" to your negative thinking. This can help you better identify, prepare and make changes the next time around.

Surround Yourself With Positive People 

Having positive, optimistic and supportive people in your life is an absolute must. Positive people will bring out the best in you. Beyond the people you physically surround yourself with, keep in mind those you choose to interact with digitally. Connect online with positive people and don't be afraid to remove toxic or negative people from your social media feeds.

How to: Ask yourself, "Are my relationships serving me well?" Then get prepared to make any necessary shifts.

Try Something New

This is the time to get creative with your hobbies and interests. Why not use the extra time at home to learn or try something new. Maybe it's a new at-home workout, listening to a new podcast, reading a new ebook, or taking an online course to learn a new skill or even a new language.

How to: Create a list of ideas of things you want to do or learn and start researching how to make them happen.

 Move Your Body

During the work day, get away from your desk and spend time away from distractions. Even 15 minutes of movement, fresh air and disconnecting from technology can improve your mood and productivity. 

How to: Set an alarm one or two times a day for a daily walking break.

Enjoy Mindful Meals

We are all busy and stressed, but we also need to eat. Taking even just a few minutes to sit down at an actual table and eat meals mindfully can do wonders for your mental health.

How to: Leave your phone in another room, sit down at the table and simply focus on the food you are eating. Mindfully and purposefully fuel your body each day.

Unplug at Night

Technology is a wonderful thing, but it can also cause us additional stress, interfere with our sleep and our relationships.

How to: Set a "bedtime" for your phone in the evening, at least 2 hours before you plan to be asleep. Place it in another room and spend your time with the people or activities you love.


Maaliea Wilbur is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Executive Director of TherapyWorks. With 10+ years of experience, Maaliea’s broad-level expertise allows her to successfully support children, teens and adults. Maaliea is passionate about providing top-notch care as a trusted resource in her community. For more information visit www.mytherapyworks.com.

In response to COVID-19 and the recent mandates of the Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties, TherapyWorks has transitioned solely to telehealth support services until further notice. Counseling must go on as it’s essential for many clients, and TherapyWorks believes it’s imperative to offer ongoing services. Learn more about TherapyWorks’  e-connect telehealth service at mytherapyworks.com/online-therapy-services. The telehealth program is confidential, user-friendly and very simple to use.


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