Cooling Stress Tips: Self-care promotes mental energy

Tribune Content Agency

Have you noticed that you feel energized when you feel loved and nurtured?

Putting time into your appearance, physical well-being, and emotional self-care routine has a payoff. You will feel more ambitious and eager to tackle your goals.

We’ve all heard the old adage: “When you look good, you feel good. And, when you feel good, you do good.” Not necessarily sharp grammar, but you get the point.

Good self-care infuses energy into our spirits and helps us stay upbeat.

Also, when we’ve put effort into our health and appearance, we can actually stop focusing on ourselves. We can place our energy and attention on other people.

“When I have a nice haircut and style, I smile more and enjoy being around other people,” says a financial advisor we’ll call Becky. “These days, when I’m working from home, no one sees me. So, I’ve been looking pretty neglected.

“A couple of weeks ago,” she continues, “my sister told me to give up the faded gray t-shirts I was wearing and wear brighter colors instead. She also insisted I let her cut my hair and color it. And, I’ve got to say, she really did a good job.”

Becky believes anyone’s personal energy starts to drop when they neglect their looks and exercise routine. She was napping three times a day until her sister snapped her out of the doldrums.

“I’ve been using a YouTube workout video to exercise,” says a chef we’ll call Carl. “I’m not working now, so I’m turning into a couch potato. Exercising keeps me from feeling depressed.”

A couple we’ll call William and Kathy keep themselves revved up by doing the following:

— They take a drive to a local park three days a week. They have a little picnic in the car and then walk for 30 minutes.

— They each take a long soak in their old clawfoot bathtub one night each week. They add bath salts and rub themselves down with lotion afterward.

— They order clothes online once a month. Both William and Kathy feel that a new outfit, even if it’s something as basic as sweatpants and a simple shirt, makes them feel nurtured.

“We’ve tried to eat more fruits and vegetables the past three months,” says Kathy. “We were eating too much fast food and way too much meat. Nowadays, we create healthy salads and cook soups with many types of vegetables.”

When we’re under stress, we all tend to neglect ourselves. We push to take care of business, our bills, our homes, and those we love. Then, when we run out of time, we skip a lot of self-care that could really do us some good.

“Sitting at the computer too much will slow down your metabolism,” says a gym owner we’ll call Rita. “Getting up to exercise on a treadmill or bike for fifteen minutes every two hours will help.”

Rita says she’s had to take her own advice recently. She’d been staying home most of the time. Her energy had plummeted and she’s gained weight. But, she’s gearing up to re-open her gym in the near future.

“My husband puts on music every day at 5:30, so we can exercise for 45 minutes,” Rita points out. “On weekends, we exercise vigorously for ninety minutes on Saturdays and Sundays. I now feel more alert.”

Penciling in self-care into your daily routine will affirm that you’re a priority. Without that feeling, you’ll likely feel depressed and you’ll have much less drive to accomplish anything.


(Judi Light Hopson is author of the stress management book, “Cooling Stress Tips.” She is also executive director of USA Wellness Cafe at


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