When you’re having a tough moment or day, it’s OK to pause and take care of yourself. Below are some suggestions for how you can do that right now—and how you can make plans to keep the self-care efforts going into the future.

In The Moment

Can you take a few minutes to do one or two of these things here and now?

Connect to your breath using the 4-7-8 breathing technique

  • Breathe in for a 4-count
  • Hold for a 7-count
  • Breathe out for an 8-count

Make sure your basic needs are met

  • Have you eaten some nourishing food today?
  • Have you showered or brushed your teeth?
  • Have you had a glass of water?

Body scan meditation

Check in with your body using this body scan meditation from our friend Tianna Soto.

Focus on your current surroundings

Use your senses to create space between yourself and your feelings:

  • Name 5 things you can see
  • Name 4 things you can touch
  • Name 3 things you can hear
  • Name 2 things you can smell
  • Name 1 thing you can taste

Call or text a friend

Remind yourself that you aren’t alone by calling or texting a trusted friend.

Make declarations

Repeat these words or write them down and put them somewhere you can look at them throughout the rest of the day: I am worthy. I am enough. I belong here.

Visualize a favorite or comforting place

  • What does it look like?
  • What does it smell like?
  • How does it make you feel?

Exercise

Get your body moving with some gentle activity like yoga, a short walk, or light stretching.

Do something creative

Focus your attention by decorating one of our coloring pages.

Keep It Going

Self-care is an ongoing practice. These are just a few ideas for taking care of your future self.

Make an appointment with your counselor or use our FIND HELP Tool to connect with one.

Create a self-care and safety plan (you can use this template) so you know who to reach out to and what to do during future tough moments.

Take a lunch break each day and use that time to recenter yourself through breathing exercises, moving your body, or connecting to something that brings you joy.

Schedule a phone call or virtual date with a friend.

Check in with yourself daily using The Hopeful app’s mood tracker and journal prompts. Use the Discover section to find and save stories from the TWLOHA Blog and episodes from the TWLOHA Podcast that help you find hope and comfort knowing you are not alone.

On a day when you’re feeling better, write yourself a note: What feelings or emotions are you experiencing? What thoughts or activities are helping you have a better day? Come back to that note on the tough days.

Find a nearby park or trail where you can spend some time moving your body or simply existing in nature.

Make a "Reminder" album on your phone. Collect pictures and videos of your favorite places, favorite people, favorite memories. Visit this album when you are having trouble remembering what brings you joy.