Mindfulness and self-care are effective methods of improving mental health and reducing stress. Below you will find tips and strategies for developing your own practices to increase personal wellness.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of moment-to-moment awareness of sensations, thoughts, and feelings. The concept is to allow your thoughts, senses, and feelings to come and go without judgment. Mindfulness is good for managing anxiety because it enables you to be present and notice what is happening in your mind and body rather than reacting instinctively without thought. You can apply mindfulness strategies such as breathing, guided meditation, or grounding exercises to help bring you into the present moment instead of worrying about the past or the future.

Take a moment to listen to Lesa Lee, LCSW-C For All Seasons Chief Clinical Officer, as she takes you through a mindfulness

grounding exercise.

Why self-care?

Self-care is important for everyone - but it’s CRITICAL for people who experience stress. Self-care provides time for your brain and your body to restore, and on a physical level gives your body a break from the cortisol release, the stress hormone.

Self-care is more than bubble baths. It means something different for everyone and it is important for people to begin to identify what are the things, and the activities that make them feel good? Who are the people who make you feel good about yourself? Make time for those activities and those people.

Here is a self-care inventory activity to help you take stock of your own self-care and to give you ideas for how to improve

Caregivers and parents should model self-care for teens and adolescents. Be creative and invite them to try new things. Make time and space for activities together and separately that support your wellness. Here is a shortlist of ideas for self-care:

  • Call or text a friend
  • Go for a walk
  • Drink water
  • Take a nap
  • Eat a healthy meal
  • Have a cup of tea or another favorite warm beverage
  • Sit in the sunlight
  • Take a shower or bath
  • Read poetry or inspiring quotes
  • Light a candle
  • Meditate
  • Write in a journal
  • Spend time in nature
  • Play a board game with family or friends
  • Color
  • Create art and make a craft
  • Play a sport you enjoy
  • Pray
  • Snuggle or play with a pet
  • List five things you're grateful for