You can’t always control the circumstances that life throws your way, but you can control how well you take care of yourself. Taking proper care of your body, soul and mind can keep you in optimum shape for handling stress. The following are some important basic self-care strategies that can keep you functioning well and ready for life’s challenges.
1. Get enough Sleep
Sleep is very important for your emotional and physical wellbeing. Lack of sleep can negatively impact your ability to handle stress, be productive and function properly. Unfortunately, busy schedules and stress can make sleep more elusive. if you really aren’t able to get enough sleep at night, don’t underestimate the value of a power nap in the afternoon.
2. Maintain proper Nutrition
Many people aren’t aware of this, but a poor diet can actually make you more vulnerable to stress. While hectic schedules can make it harder to get proper nutrition, a poor diet is not inevitable.
3. Exercise daily
Exercise can be great for you physically and mentally. It provides a stress release and keeps your body healthy. It also helps your body release endorphins, which increase your feelings of overall wellbeing.
4. Maintain Social Contact
Social support can keep you healthier and happier, creating a buffer against stress. Friends can pick you up when you’re sad, provide insights when you’re confused and help you have fun when you need to blow off steam. Learn how to cultivate supportive friendships and expand your social circle so you’ll have someone to lean on when stressed.
5. Do things you Enjoy
Having some “down time” is important, and hobbies can provide a nice distraction from stress and help you stay ‘in the moment’, which is also a great way to relieve tension. Drawing and gardening are great stress relievers, but just about anything you enjoy can work.  
6. Keep your Mind Active
If you maintain the attitude that stress is a challenge—rather than a threat, you are better able to handle it. And by keeping your mind sharp, you are more equipped to solve the problems and take on the “challenges” that life presents.
7. Have a Positive Attitude
Much of what you experience in life can feel more stressful or less so depending on your point of view. Looking at things from an optimistic frame of mind can not only decrease your stress level but also bring you more success in life and more. You can even change ingrained negative thought patterns to more positive ones by using positive affirmations.
8. Process Emotions
Keeping your emotions bottled up usually leads to an emotional explosion later on. It’s generally healthier to listen to your feelings, process them and try to understand them. Consider them ‘messengers’ that tell you when something is not right with your world. A great way to process emotions is the act of journaling. When you write about your feelings, and potential solutions to your problems, you can reduce stress in your life and even see some health benefits.