Self Care

Seven Steps to Well-being

Experts from the Masonic Center for Youth and Families outline some helpful tips for maintaining your emotional and mental health.

Rest: It’s essential to your physical and mental health. Studies show that 42 percent of our day should be spent in a restful state. That’s 10 hours per day, which includes your nightly eight hours of shuteye. The rest should be spent in “active rest.”

Self-compassion: It’s not selfish. Caregivers often prioritize everyone else and fail to attend to their own needs. Turning kindness inward ensures you’re giving yourself the same support and encouragement you would give a friend.

Boundaries: This one can take some practice and time. But setting proper boundaries tells others, “This is the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” Establishing healthy boundaries helps to ensure our personal values are not being compromised.

Movement: Intentional movement for at least 20 minutes a day can lower your stress hormones and boost your mood for as much as 12 hours. Even a light walk, stretch, or seated movement are beneficial—and easy ways to get started.

Positive Social Interaction:
Surround yourself with people who take care of you as you take care of them. Laughing together or having long conversations are healthy ways to connect with others.

Welcomed Affection: A 20-second hug from a loved one or a treasured friend can cause the brain to release oxytocin, known as the bonding hormone. That kind of warm embrace or supportive touch has been known to reduce people’s feelings of anxiety and increase their feeling of being grounded.

A Good Cry: We all need one sometimes. After a good cry, our bodies release oxytocin and endorphins, resulting in a sense of calm or well-being.

Visit to learn more about ways to stay balanced. The Masonic Center for Youth and Families provides therapy, counseling, and a range of mental health programs for children, adults, families, and seniors on a sliding fee scale.