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  • Writer's pictureStephen Carter

3 Self-Care Stress Release Techniques for Mental Health Month

Updated: May 20, 2021

Updated May 19, 2021

Woman sitting in chair, legs up, holding cup with beverage

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s a perfect time to recognize how important it is to engage in emotional self-care.

This is especially true given the stress creating circumstances many of us are facing as we deal with transitioning from highly restrictive COVID-19 limitations on travel and interactions with others to - after vaccination and reduced infection rates - a slow return to more travel and interaction freedom over the coming weeks and months.

Given stress can be a contributor to mental health challenges, it simply makes sense to proactively apply stress dissolving actions throughout your day to help you stay calm and emotionally balanced.

Your First Step - Assess Your Stress Level

The important first step is to periodically checkin with yourself several times a day and ask yourself,

“How stressed am I feeling in this moment on a 0 to 10 scale?”

Zero means you have no stress and 10 means you’re feeling totally stressed. Typically, our stress level at any given moment is somewhere between the two extremes. You can also simply assess your stress level on a Low, Medium, or High Stress scale.

The mere act of assessing your stress level can provide an opportunity for your brain to notice the stress consciously and begin the de-stressing process.

Apply Stress Releasing Techniques When Stressed and Periodically Throughout the Day

Regardless of your stress level, it’s a great idea to apply stress releasing techniques several times a day to stay as calm and relaxed as possible.

At FREA, short for Finding Recovery and Empowerment From Abuse, we have a wealth of self-care resources to help keep stress low. These techniques are easy to apply and can help you feel calm and refreshed throughout your day.

3 Easy Techniques to Calm Mind and Body

Here are three techniques from our FREA resource toolbox. You can try each one and apply your favorite regularly or you can rotate through these three throughout the day to help you stay relaxed, refreshed, and calm. They’re simple, easily done, and can be highly effective.

Calming Hold Technique

Heart Breathing

Butterfly Hug

Get PDF Instruction Guides for These and Other Stress Releasing Techniques

To get free PDF instruction guides for these and other techniques, visit FREA’s Self-Care Skills page at

To explore the rich array of self-care FREA resources, visit


Stephen Carter is a FREA volunteer and CEO of Stress Solutions, LLC, a company dedicated to helping people enhance physical and emotional wellbeing through stress mastery using mind-body methods. He hosts the, "Easy Stress Cures / Mind Over Stress", and "EFT Tapping Junction" podcasts. Steve can be reached at

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