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Have you noticed that when you don't practice proper self care--when you don't take care of your own physical and emotional needs--you are less able to take care of others, and your ability to handle stress is compromised? You're not alone--many people find that when they haven't had enough sleep, when their diet is lacking, or when they don't get regular exercise, time with friends, or time alone, they feel more frazzled. They find that little things bother them more. Their reserves get low.

However, making a concerted effort to take care of your own needs, and to maintain healthy habits to keep your reserves up, can help you to feel more in control of your life, and be more proactive when you deal with stress. You may feel more energized, so you can take more steps to create positive change in your life. You may feel more optimistic, so you see more opportunities and fewer obstacles. You may feel happier as you face whatever comes.

You can't always control the circumstances that life throws your way, but you can control how well you take care of yourself. And practicing this type of self care can help you to feel more empowered so you can see stressors as a challenge rather than a threat, and tackle them as such. Taking proper care of your body, soul and mind can keep you in optimum shape for handling stress. The following are some important basic mental and physical self care strategies that can keep you functioning well and ready for life's challenges.

Find more stress relief support with the free weekly newsletter and the Facebook Page About Stress Management, and take good care of yourself this week.

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