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Key Strategies in Practicing Self-Care

Published July 21st, 2022 by NYTPS Inc

Do you feel like an Uber driver? Do you need a calendar for your calendar? If you responded, “YES!” know that you are in good company. With the range of activities your child might be involved in, combined with all the rest of life’s responsibilities, where can you find time to take care of yourself? Many have asked themselves this question, and too often, adults’ needs go unmet. This month’s blog talks about the importance of self-care.

Critical thought: You need to make sure that taking care of yourself is as much a priority as taking care of everyone else. Think about it – can you fill other people’s cups if your cup is empty? No! Practicing self-care will look different for different people, but it needs to be a priority in your life to find balance, peace, and happiness.


3 Practice Ways to Take Care of You

  • Regular Physical Exercise: The Mayo Clinic shares seven ways that exercise can lead you to a happier, healthier you. Exercise can affect and help control weight, combat health conditions and diseases, improve mood, boost energy, promote better sleep, and relieve stress. For most healthy adults, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines: Aerobic activity of at least 150 minutes and strength training 2 times per week.
  • Healthy Eating: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares the following benefits of healthy eating:
    • May help you live longer
    • Keeps skin, teeth, and eyes healthy
    • Supports muscles
    • Boosts immunity
    • Strengthens bones
    • Lowers risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
    • Supports healthy pregnancies and breastfeeding
    • Helps the digestive system function
    • Helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight

    When you eat well you are sending a positive message to yourself which affects your mood and plays into self-care. As Dr. Eva Selhub shared on Harvard Health Publishing:

    “Your brain is always ‘on.’ It takes care of your thoughts and movements, your breathing and heartbeat, your senses — it works hard 24/7, even while you’re asleep. This means your brain requires a constant supply of fuel. That ‘fuel’ comes from the foods you eat — and what’s in that fuel makes all the difference. Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.”
  • Connecting with your spiritual side through mindfulness meditation: The American Psychological Association shares the following benefits brought about through meditation. These include:
    • Reduced rumination
    • Stress reduction
    • Boosts to working memory
    • Heightened focus
    • Less emotional reactivity
    • More cognitive flexibility
    • Relationship satisfaction
    • And other benefits



Everyone struggles to find a new normal after COVID and dealing with trauma and life stresses is a part of this success equation. An NAEYC article, “Preventing Compassion Fatigue: Caring for Yourself,” shared that 

“self-care involves incorporating activities aimed at restoring and improving your physical and emotional well-being into your everyday life.”

Taking care of yourself isn’t a task with a deadline but a habit we take on over the course of time. Setting realistic goals and figuring out your motives are essential to creating a more productive, less stressed, and frustrated YOU!

Below are some questions that will help you set up a few SMART goals:

Specific: What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Why is this goal important to you? What resources or limits are involved?

Measurable: How much effort will it take? How many people are involved? How will you know you accomplished it?

Assignable: Who will do it?

Realistic: Is this worthwhile? What are your available resources?

Time-related: When, specifically, can it be completed? What can you do today?


6 Strategies for You to Start Small

  1. Take a day off for yourself
  2. Move around more
  3. Pick up a new hobby
  4. Choose healthy foods when dining out with friends
  5. Play board games with family when you feel like cocooning on the couch
  6. Getting enough sleep, not naps!

If in-between there are waves of emotions coming your way, take a minute and see if you are able to recognize these emotions and recuperate from the stress. Don’t be shy to join group therapy or reach out to professionals for further help. All these little steps help us learn how to “be kind to yourself.”

Do take care of yourself so you have the physical and mental strength to take care of others. You got this!



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, April) Benefits of Eating Healthy.

Davis, D. M. & Hayes, J. A. (2012, July/August). What are the benefits of mindfulness.Monitor on Psychology, Vol 43, p. 64.

Doran, G.T. (1981). There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives. Management Review,vol 70(11),p. 35–36.

Erdman, S., Colker, L. J. & Winter, E. C. (2020). Trauma and Young Children: Teaching Strategies to Support and Empower Children. Washington, DC: NAEYC

Erdman, S., Colker, L. J. & Winter, E. C. (2020).Preventing Compassion Fatigue: Caring for Yourself.NAEYC.

Haughey, D. (2014, December 13). A Brief History of SMART Goals. Project Smart.

Mayo Clinic. (2021, October 8). Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity.Mayo Clinic.

MindTools Content Team.(n.d.)SMART Goals: How to Make Your Goals Achievable.Mind Tools.

Selhub, E. (2020. March 26). Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food. Harvard Health Blog.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd edition).

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