5 Fast and Easy Self-Care Moves for Stressful Times

By Patricia Smith
March 02, 2023

Life throws us a curveball occasionally. When your mother-in-law announces unexpectedly that she'll be arriving on a 3 p.m. flight, or your boss moves up that deadline to tomorrow at 8 a.m. sharp, there’s no time to decompress at the nearest spa. When faced with anxiety, stress, and OMG overload, the quickest way to stay calm and carry on is to perform a self-care intervention in the moment.

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., regards on-the-spot interventions as indispensable in dealing with life as we know it. “I recommend microskills that individuals can use anywhere, anytime,” says the executive director of TEND Academy, which provides mental health education and resources to first responders and frontline healthcare workers in Ontario, Canada.

What kind of microskills, you ask? “We know from years of neuroscience research that the best tools are the ones that we employ small and often," she says. “[Such microskills] help reduce cortisol and related stress hormones by resetting with a short burst of activity."