August is National Wellness Month.  It’s all about taking the time to focus on yourself, whether that’s physically, emotionally, or mentally. Here are 6 ways to rejuvenate yourself in order to release some stress and practice wellness self-care.


Sometimes you just need to breathe. Feeling stressed because there is a deadline or too much is going on around you can cause us to start taking shallow breaths. Or worse, start thinking of other crutches like alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to make the situation better. It’s right then, at that moment that we need to breathe.

As long as you are not moving/driving, just stop what you’re doing and close your eyes. Take a nice, slow inhale through your nose as you count silently to 4. Hold the breath for a count of 1 or 4, and then slowly exhale through your nose for the count of 4.

I feel that closing my eyes helps me to center but it’s not a requirement. The only requirement is breathing. You don’t even have to count if you don’t want to, but you do have to stop whatever you’re doing and just breathe. If you want to take this practice a step further, read How to Breath Some Calm into Your Day.


If breathing helped, then the next step you might try is meditation. There are numerous ways to meditate, you can sit, stand, lie down, and even walk your way through meditation. The simplest of which, is to focus on your breath or even count your breath. One to ten. And then start at one again.

I like to do a counting meditation while I walk, which I shared in Are You on the Path of Meditation. I also highly recommend the Insight Timer app as a way to try different guided meditations. You can download the app on either an iPhone or Android and choose from thousands of free guided meditations. There are also paid ones as well.


Oh, how I love to pamper myself. Manis, pedis, facials, massages, love them all. And I would schedule them on a regular basis. At one point, during a very stressful time in my life, I was getting a massage once a week.

But simple things work as well. When I used to work in a high stress Corporate position, I would prepare for the week each Sunday night. First, I’d prepare a luxurious bath complete with with scented epsom salts. I’d grab some magazines or a book, light some candles, and get a glass of wine. Then I’d soak until the water got too cold.

Once I was out, I’d put on something slouchy comfortable and just relax until bedtime. Sometimes I’d read, sometimes I’d watch a movie. There was something soothing about sliding into the beginning of the week in a relaxed way


For me, this also tied into my weekly pampering session, but I read each day. I love books and like to switch it up between fiction (usually mysteries) and real-life. I love reading biographies or about specific events in history. But the key is reading for pleasure.

I know some people hate to read or fall asleep when they read. Try something like the Audible app. Or find that one subject you’re most interested in.

My husband is a chef and he loves to learn about other chefs, but he does it through Audible. Otherwise, he falls asleep while reading. Unless…it’s a cookbook. Then he’ll read it cover to cover twice. I was amazed by this when I saw him do it. He actually reads a cookbook from beginning to end for pleasure. Then he will go back and mark out recipes he is interested in, adding in his own notes, and ideas.

I would not be able to get past the first recipe without throwing the book aside. For him it’s about how the recipe comes together and if the cookbook shares any history about the recipe, even better. To each his own has never been truer than in this situation. A cookbook would stress me out. He loves them.


Maybe this sounds stressful to you, but taking a hike could be as simple as walking along a boardwalk. I used to love hiking when my knees loved it. I lived close enough to a state park that 3 or 4 days a week would find me hiking a trail in it. Some were shorter than others, some took several hours. But I also had a specific path across several trails carved out that would take an hour for the full course.

What a great way to stay active, be healthy, and relieve some stress all while enjoying beautiful scenary.

Now, I live in Florida, no mountains, and even if there were, my knees wouldn’t like them. But there are beaches and lovely preserves to walk in. Beaches are my favorite, especially now that we live in a beach town. At least once a week, we’re at the beach.


So hard to do and yet so effective. Somedays, you just need to unplug yourself. Don’t turn on that computer, keep your phone in airplane mode. If going a whole day is too hard, then let’s just put a ripple in your schedule.

Like to plug in as soon as you wake up? Put your phone in another room for the night or just turn it off so it won’t be easy to look at. Plan to start your day with at least 4 hours of electronic free time. Have some coffee, read a real newspaper, magazine, or book.

Go for a hike (see above) and enjoy the outdoors. Or sit down and actually talk to those in the room with you. You might enjoy it and you just may learn something new.