ACEs Aware Self-Care Tool for Adults
When a person has experienced significant Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), their body
may make more or less stress hormones than is healthy. This can lead to physical and/or mental
health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, smoking, or unhealthy use of alcohol
or other drugs. Safe, stable, and nurturing relationships can protect our brains and bodies from
the harmful effects of stress and adversity. The following tips can help you manage your stress
response. Healthy nutrition, regular exercise, restful sleep, practicing mindfulness, building social
connections, and getting mental health support can help decrease stress hormones and improve
health. Here are some goals you can set to support your health. [Check the goals that you are
choosing for yourself!]
Healthy relationships. Ive set a goal of...
Spending more high-quality time together with loved ones, such as:
Having regular meals together
Having regular no electronicstime for us to talk and connect with each
Making time to see friends and create a healthy support system for myself
Connecting regularly with members of my community to build social connections
Asking for help if I feel physically or emotionally unsafe in my relationships
The National Domestic Violence hotline is 800-799-SAFE (7233)
The National Sexual Assault hotline is 800-656-HOPE (4673)
To reach a crisis text line, text HOME to 741-741
Create your own goal: ______________________________________
Exercise. Ive set a goal of...
Limiting screen time to less than __ hours per day
Walking at least 30 minutes every day
Finding a type of exercise that I enjoy and doing it regularly
Create your own goal: ______________________________________
Nutrition. Ive set a goal of...
Eating a healthy breakfast daily (with protein, whole gains, and/or fruit)
Drinking water instead of juice or soda
Limiting my alcohol consumption
Eating at least 5 vegetables and/or fruits every day
Choosing whole wheat bread and brown rice instead of white bread or rice
Create your own goal: ______________________________________
Sleep. Ive set a goal of...
Being consistent about going to bed at the same time every night
Creating a cool, calm, and quiet place for sleep, and a relaxing bedtime routine
Using mindfulness or other stress reduction tools if worry is keeping me up at night
Turning off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed
Create your own goal: ______________________________________
Mindfulness. Ive set a goal of...
Taking moments throughout the day to notice how Im feeling, both physically and
Practicing mindful breathing or other calming technique(s) during stressful situations
Finding at least one thing to be thankful for each day
Creating a regular routine of prayer, meditation, and/or yoga
Downloading a mindfulness app and doing a mindfulness practice 20 minutes per
Create your own goal: ______________________________________
Mental health. Ive set a goal of...
Learning more about mental health and/or substance use services (e.g., counseling,
groups, medications,)
Identifying a local mental health professional or support group.
Scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional
If I am feeling like I am in crisis, I will get help
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-TALK (8255)
To reach a crisis text line, text HOME to 741-741
Create your own goal: ______________________________________
Here are some other goals that you can set to help yourself be healthier.
Self-Care. Ive set a goal of...
Limiting screen/social media time to less than __ hours per day
Making a plan for what to do when Im feeling stressed out, angry, or overwhelmed
Planning with my partner, friends, or family to get support when I need it
Making regular appointments with my medical provider(s), including for preventive
Identifying my strengths and learning more about building resilience
Create your own goal: ______________________________________
For more information, please visit:
From ACEs Aware: https://www.acesaware.org/heal/resources/
Mental Health and Substance Use:
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): https://www.nami.org/help
o 1-800-950-NAMI (6264); Crisis Text LineText HOME to 741-741
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Facilities Locator: