Making LOL - Overcoming Adversity With Grace + Humor

15 Self-Care Tips

15 Self-care tips for when the going gets tough

When you are deep in the valley in your struggles, it is important to remember to practice self-care. Your tough ordeals can hurt your body, mind and soul. You might just want to lock yourself in the bedroom and never see anyone again.

It is Ok to grieve your loss. You are allowed some alone time to process your emotions and the major life changes that you are facing. Do remember to practice some basic self-care practices, even if you do not feel like it and just want to sleep the pain off.

Eat regularly. Take a walk. Being out in the nature helps with depression. At the very least, spend some time in the backyard where you’re surrounded with trees or the balcony where you can look up to the sky.

Here is a list of self-care practices that help me go through my dark moments:

1. Come to consciousness mindfully

When you wake up in the morning, spend 10-15 minutes just lying in bed before your feet hit the ground. Assess how your body feels. Where does it hurt, if any at all? How do you feel? What are the thoughts that run in your mind? Are they good or negative thoughts? Do you need to cry it out? Go ahead cry it out. Then, wipe your tears and pick yourself up again.

2. Quiet time in the morning

Give at least 30 minutes to yourself in the morning before you attend to your obligations (i.e. spouse, kids, household chores, or work). Use it to talk to God (pray & worship), do yoga, practice meditation or connect to your higher consciousness – whatever your belief is.

3. Practice gratitude

Make a list of what you can be thankful for in whatever situation you are in. In my darkest night, my list looks like this, “Yes, everything hurts. But, I am still here. I am alive. Yes, I lost everything. But, I still have a place to sleep, clothes to wear and food to eat every day. Others have chronic pains to deal with every single day. I do have things to be thankful for.”

4. Take a walk (or run) at least 30 minutes every day

Make it a routine, so you don’t have to ask yourself if you should do it or not.

5. Take up yoga and/or meditation

Yoga trains you to focus on the present moment — to be still and focus on your breath. The present is all we have. The past is gone and the future is yet to come.

Plus, you will get physical benefits from the poses you do while practicing yoga.

Meditation also focuses your mind. It helps quiet the chatter in your mind.

6. Start a journal

It’s a good way to be aware of what thoughts your brain is conjuring up and what your heart is feeling. But your soul is the one that needs to decide which values align with your highest self. Every decision we make in our life is an expression of who we are. What do you want to say about yourself?

7. Learn to master your emotion

This is one of the hardest things for me to do. I am a very emotional gal (what can I say? I am scorpion!). That means I feel the good feelings deeply. I get tears of joy in my eyes when I laugh out loud. But, the downside is I feel the negative emotions deeply too. It took me a long time to let go of the past and heal.

Feel your emotion, but don’t let it define you.

8. Listen to inspiring music

Sing along and dance even if you’re by yourself.

9. Watch inspiring Ted Talks

10. Read inspiring books

11. Skip social media (and the news) for a while

Seeing pictures of your friends living it up when your own life is in a shambles don’t help at all. Focus on yourself. Join the world again when you are ready. If they are true friends, they’ll still be there for you.

I included skipping the news because, sadly, there are so many negative stories in the news nowadays. You’ve got a lot on your plate to deal with. Read or watch something encouraging instead.

12. Build a vision board

Give yourself hope for a better future. Your current dreams and plans have been shattered. Make a new one. Decide who you truly are and who you want to be this time around. What do you really want? What do you want to do for work? You are given a chance for a new life. Craft the live that you want to live.

13. Keep in touch with old friends

Bug them once in a while. See what they’re up to.

14. Find support in your community

If you lost all of your support system like I did, find your new tribe. You are also welcome to find support here in Making LOL.

15. Help someone in need

After your shutting-the-rest-of-the world period to take care of yourself, go out and help someone in need. It is said that when you are hurting, one of the best way to take the focus off yourself is to help others in need. It’ll help shift your perspective in life and realize that you are not alone in your suffering. You might even find that others are facing bigger challenges than you are.

helping yourself by helping others

Give yourself grace. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Release all the anger, fear and guilt you might be experiencing with this difficult season. You WILL heal and put the pieces back together again. Before you know it, you will rock this new journey and build a new life for yourself.

How about you? What do you do to get through your darkest moments?



Please share the love if you find this helpful! Thanks!

15 Self-care tips for when the going gets tough

15 self-care tips when you are struggling with grief, depression and hopelessness


  1. These are great points. 1 and 2 is a must of my daily thing. I also meditate at night to help me recharge and neglect all negativity that I faced during day time. Our day will never be perfect as how we planned it to be. Ther are certain circumstances that wil make our day unpleasant. To help me re-focus I do the meditation at night and train my brain to be ready to face the next day again.

  2. This list was made for me. I practically do just about everything on this list. Quiet time in the morning and regular walks have always been my favorite ways to unwind. I have found that is so important to practice self-care.

  3. How wonderful these tips are! Self-care is so important to vitality and good health. My favorite to induce mindfulness is quiet time in the morning. My time in the silence helps me get clear, reset and program my conscious mind, elevating me to a higher frequency before engaging in anything. Appreciate reading this very much. <3 Blessings!

  4. This is such a great list! I truly believe in your suggestions of “helping others” and “being outdoors.” Both of those things have worked wonders for my soul during tough times. There are many items on your list I need to try. Thank you for sharing your knowledge to help others.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Wendi. Yes, I love how you help others with Operation Homefront even when you are going through a hard time. Keep the faith and keep marching forward. You will get through this trial. Sending hugs to you.

  5. In addition to most of these, I started using th five-minute journaling technique when at my worst. It really helps me to focus on what I’m thankful for, and what I can take control of myself to make better.

  6. I am a BIG advocate of self care and your list is great! I absolutely love to find a good book and read it in my down time and just focus on what I need. I also believe that everyone should unplug for a few hours (at least) on the weekend. Great post!

    • Thanks, Nicole. Yes, unplugging (for a few hours) should definitely on everyone’s list everyday. It’s something that I need to work on too since I started blogging 😉

  7. Hello! Thank you for some great ideas to help those dealing with emotional stress. I especially liked the part about appreciation for what we already have. In society, we are often encouraged to concentrate on what other’s have and strive towards getting those things.

    • Thanks for reading, Katrina. Comparison to others is the enemy and chasing material stuffs is overrated. We can’t bring any of it to the grave. At the end of our lives, what matters is how much we have loved the people around us.

  8. “Mindfulness” seems to be the buzzword right now. I love the gratitude journal. In the worst of times, I can rattle off 20 things I have to be grateful for – and I bet everyone else does too.

    • Yes, gratitude journal is a good practice and we don’t have to wait till worst of times to do it. I think it’s something that we can practice everyday before we start our day.

  9. This, along with your other self-care post, I believe highlight the need for mindfulness greatly. Mindfulness, consciousness, and just being in the moment and carefully planning out your actions, thoughts, feelings – it’s all SO important to success and well-being.

    I think particularly in Western culture, we rush, rush, rush and don’t savor, think, or feel enough.

    • I have been living the Western culture for 16 years working in fast-paced culinary industry. Now I am back in the Eastern culture, it was hard to adjust at first. Everything happens at a slower rate here. I am still learning how to slow down and being more mindful myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *