Self Care and Managing Stress

Self care is extremely important for individuals who care for others or those who undergo large amounts of stress.  It is important to care for one’s mental health the same way one gives rest to one’s physical health.  Taking the time for self care and giving the mind the time it needs to rest or recovery are critical to long term success in life.  Unfortunately, many feel guilt if they walk away from a loved one for a short period.  They do not partake in a short visit away, or find time to care for themselves.

Many suffer from poor hygiene.  Others can become over stressed and open to medical conditions.  Others can become resentful overtime that life is not rewarding.  It is important to care for oneself in order to care for others and it is not selfish to take a little time each day, each week and month to find that one’s physical, mental and emotional needs are met.  This does not mean one abandons care of another, but it does allow one to recharge enabling them to give the best care.

For others self care is sometimes not time away from a sick person but is time away from constant work.  It permits the person to focus on other things than deadlines or assignments.  Again, this does not mean one is to disregard tasks or responsibilities, but means one is to find time to help each other.  Balance is key like anything in life. Self care is part of balance.

There are many examples of self care. Please also review AIHCP’ Stress Management Consulting Program


The article, “How To Start a Self-Care Routine” from Cleveland Clinic “healthessentials” takes a closer look at forming a self care routine.   The article discusses how diet, exercise and rest are important aspects of self care that become neglected by busier people.  The article discusses how one can learn to insert into one’s schedule a self care schedule that will not infringe upon daily duty but grant the needed balance for overall mental and physical health.  The article states,

“You’ve probably heard a lot of chatter over the past few years about self-care and the importance of having a self-care routine. The idea — a holistic (whole body) approach to taking care of one’s physical and emotional health — is a great one but it can be a bit intimidating.  For those who’ve never done one, a self-care routine may feel like an uphill climb, something that seems impossible to do in a very busy (and chaotic) world. Others may have tried and fallen out of the routine, leaving them feeling like they just don’t have the knack for it.”

“How To Start a Self-Care Routine”. HeAlthessentials. Cleveland Clinic.

To review the entire article, please click here


Self care is important for managing stress. When we are stressed, our bodies go into fight or flight mode and release stress hormones like cortisol. These hormones can have negative effects on our bodies if we are constantly in a state of stress. That is why it is important to take care of ourselves and do things that help reduce our stress levels. Some self care activities that can help reduce stress are exercise, relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, spending time in nature, and getting enough sleep.  Other times, it is important to find time away, even if for half a day or so to do something one finds relaxing or fun.

There are a number of reasons why people might ignore self-care. One reason is that they may not be aware of the importance of self-care. Another reason is that they may not have the time or resources to devote to self-care. Additionally, people may not believe that self-care is necessary or effective. Finally, some people may simply be unwilling to change their habits or routines to accommodate self-care.  In addition, guilt from walking away from a person or a task can prevent one from working on oneself.

As stress adds up though, the importance of self care is a critical skill.  The skill is in knowing when enough is enough and finding a safe and healthy outlet to recharge one’s mind.  When one does not permit this and give the time needed for better diet, sleep and exercise, or even a amusing event, the person begins to become more and more stressed and open to mental break down or sickness.  One must learn to insert balance in life in everything.  Self care is understanding the balance that one must have in order to operate in other areas.  When self care boundaries are not protected and defended, then the person can become over stressed and strained.


In conclusion, self care is important for our mental and physical wellbeing. It can help us to cope with stress, anxiety and depression. It can also improve our sleep, energy levels and immunity.  Many times, self care is put to the side and neglected.  It is important to find balance in work, school and play.  It is important to give oneself time to recharge from helping others or performing tasks or meeting deadlines.  It does not involve neglecting duty but balancing everything.  By making time for self care, we can improve our overall health and wellbeing.

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management.

Additional Resources

“U.S. medical students who engage in self-care report less stress and higher quality of life”. Erin E. Ayala, etc. al. BMC Medical Education volume 18, Article number: 189 (2018). Access here

“Why Self Care Can Help You Manage Stress”. Elizabeth Scott, PhD. November 24th, 2020. Verywellmind. Access here

“What You Need to Know About Stress and Self-Care”. Dan Mager, MSW. August 29th, 2017. Psychology Today.  Access here

“Ways to Manage Stress”. Lauren Ragland. September 14th, 2021. WebMD. Access here

“Caregiver stress: Tips for taking care of yourself”. March 22nd, 2022. Mayo Clinic.  Access here