The gift of you: 7 self-care tips

by Kaiser Permanente |
Woman wearing a turtleneck laughs outdoors

Tis the season of giving — from buying presents to making home-cooked meals to spending quality time with loved ones. But this time of year can also be stressful — and stress levels are already at an all-time high due to COVID-19.

Stress can take a toll on your health. That’s why self-care is essential. Without proper self-care, you’re more likely to experience burnout, fatigue, and illness.

So, now’s the time to put yourself at the top of your wish list. Try these self-care tips to help reduce stress.

Stay active

Maintaining your workout routine — especially in the winter — can do wonders for your health. Daily exercise can boost your immune system, which can help prevent illnesses like the flu and common cold. Exercising can also help improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

Eat healthy

Keep your spirits burning bright through the holidays by sticking with healthy eating habits. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli are always a good choice. And if you need some healthy eating inspiration, check out our Food for Health blog.

Get some good rest

Life can feel overwhelming when you’re not getting enough rest. You’ll want to get 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. And take breaks throughout the day when you need them.

Spend time and money wisely

Your time and money are valuable. Running out of either can put a damper on your mood — and lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. You can avoid this by creating a budget and sticking to it.

Let go of perfection

Trying to make everything perfect is a recipe for stress-induced burnout. Remember, your house doesn’t need to be spotless. Not everything has to be made from scratch. Give yourself a break and ask for help when you need it.

Do something nice for yourself

When we’re busy giving to others, it’s important to take a moment and treat ourselves too. So, go ahead and relax on the couch with a nice cup of tea, read a good book, or take a leisurely walk.

Ask for help

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. If you feel there’s too much on your plate, ask a partner or loved one to pitch in with your to-do list. You can also reach out to a professional for help — especially if you’re having trouble coping with holiday stress.

When stress takes a serious toll

Even when practicing self-care, stress can still overwhelm us. And this stress can sometimes trigger more serious issues — or make existing mental health conditions like depression worse.

It’s not uncommon to need extra support this time of year. If you need help, we’re here for you.

Learn more about how to take care of your mental health

Choose from a broad range of self-care tools designed to support a healthy state of mind.