Mental Health Matters: Self-care is essential

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” 

–Novelist Anne Lamott once said, “

Self-care is critically important when it comes to your health and well-being, but that does not mean it comes naturally to everyone. Fortunately, there are many ways to be kind to yourself and unplug even if it’s just for a few minutes. Create a self-care kit with these tips from Lifeworks, the company that manages the district’s Employee Assistance Program. 

  1. Do a simple stretching routine. Even taking a minute to relax your jaw, neck and shoulders can make a big difference. 
  2. Find a piece of art you love and look for more works by the same artist. You may end up with a new favorite song, book or show! 
  3. Reflect on the hobbies you loved as a child and see if you can rekindle that same sense of wonder and fun by giving them another try. 
  4. Switch off your phone—or at least your access to it—for an hour. Try moving it to another room or turning on “airplane mode” or “do not disturb.”
  5. Make a playlist of cheerful songs and hit play whenever you could use a pick-me-up. 
  6. Budget for an extra adventure. Setting aside as little as $10 a month can lead to a treat. 
  7. List out your work accomplishments and appreciate how much effort you have put into your growth and development. You should be proud! 
  8. Take yourself on a date. Make time for an item on your bucket list, and go explore your community. 
  9. Get in touch with a friend you have not seen for a while. They will be thrilled to hear from you. 
  10. Organize a friend or family game night and bring out all your favorite board games and video games. 
  11. When you break for lunch during the work day, take the time to eat mindfully. Focus on each flavor and appreciate when you are full. 
  12. Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Schedule a day off. We all need rest to avoid burnout. 
  13. Carry around a water bottle, and make sure to stay hydrated when you find yourself struggling to concentrate or are feeling extra tired.
  14. Keep a gratitude journal. Not only will you appreciate all the little things around you more, but you can also give yourself the credit you deserve for showing up every day. 
  15. Start a new podcast on a topic that has always interested you or pick up your favorite comfort book.
  16. Browse your favorite meals and choose a new recipe to try. You could even experiment with a beloved family favorite. 
  17. Do some spring cleaning and clear out the clutter around your home or desk. If you have a hard time getting started, play an upbeat song and dance as you go. 
  18. Transform your home into a spa by taking a long bath and lighting up your best scented candle. 
  19. Practice meditation. Whether you follow a short video on YouTube or do some deep breathing, you will feel more relaxed and at peace. 
  20. Be gentle with yourself, especially on your hardest days. Pick out a few self-affirmations and speak to yourself with the same care you would show your friends and family. 
  21. Set boundaries with your schedule. When you are off the clock, put away your work phone and turn off any email notifications you may receive. 
  22. Research restaurants in your area and enjoy some delicious new food. If you want to be spontaneous, check out that diner or coffee shop you have seen a thousand times but have not tried yet.  
  23. Play with your pets more often. We all know you wanted to anyway, so here is your excuse! 
  24. Spend time outside every day. Even if you only have the energy for a few minutes, the fresh air will do you good. 
  25. Every time someone compliments you, make a note in a journal or on your computer. On bad days, their words will lift your spirits. 

You matter and so does your health and well-being! If you are struggling, help is available. Dallas ISD’s Employee Assistance Program by LifeWorks has countless online resources, including on-call counselors and practical tips to manage a variety of mental health concerns. The confidential, secure platform requires no contributions, so you can easily get the support you need today. 

Reach out to LifeWorks at (972) 925-4000 or visit and click on Benefits Resources to access online EAP information. 

*Source: LifeWorks 

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