What do setting healthy boundaries with others, going for a long run and keeping a gratitude journal have in common?

They are all small ACTs of self-care.

Self-care looks different for everyone. On some days, self-care might be one routine you do for yourself in the morning, like drinking a full glass of water and going for a brisk walk. On other days, it might involve a series of activities, such as meal-prepping lunches for the week, checking in on a friend and listening to a new album from your favorite artist. While self-care varies person to person, what is true across the board is that everyone benefits from incorporating mindful ways to navigate their stress each day.

Make taking care of yourself a priority—you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you’re not sure what self-care methods might work for you, explore these three resources:

  1. Wellness Toolkits (National Institutes of Health): Whether you’re hoping to better understand your metabolism or take care of yourself when supporting others, these toolkits provide several strategies to boost different aspects of your overall health. Consider ways to make your work-from-home or office environment healthier or improve your family’s physical activity levels.   
  2. Live Whole Health Blog Series (Veteran’s Affairs): From ideas on how to set intentions, to stretching throughout the day, to getting better sleep, this blog series includes several actionable tips for you to feel more recharged throughout the day. Try bookmarking a few of these posts and narrow in on different habits you’d like to build.
  3. Wellness Apps (Military OneSource): Looking for quick breathing exercises or healthy ways to navigate relationship problems? These apps focused on health and wellness are free and specifically designed for the military community. You can even track your mood during the pandemic, by checking out the COVID Coach app. 

Reflect on what elements of self-care resonate with you, and what practices feel feasible for you to incorporate in your daily routine. Once you find yourself successfully practicing a few self-care habits, formalize your self-care routine in a plan by writing it down or saving it digitally for easy reference. Prioritizing your daily self-care is 1 Small ACT you can do to keep yourself healthy in 2021 and beyond. For more self-care tips, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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