The Importance of Mental Health Self-care
What is mental health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It may very well determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. It is the difficulty to find peace amongst yourself.
Self-care is crucial and emphasised on as mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. When we are mentally healthy, we thrive and be motivated to enjoy our life and environment, with the people in it. To be creative, learn, be open to new things, and take risks. We are better able to cope with difficult times in our personal and professional lives.
The top 2 mental health disorders reported by “World Health Organisation” were anxiety and depression with the largest amount known for teens and adults. Therefore, this article would be focused on understanding such disorders and learning the benefits of prioritising mental health and its self-care.
Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.
If our mental health isn’t well cared for, can result in unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, and suicide, and poor quality of life.
Therefore, engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, increase happiness, and more. Self-care looks different for everyone, and it is important to find what you need and enjoy.
In addition, self-care can help one better their own mental health overtime, understanding what causes or triggers your mild symptoms and what coping techniques work for you.
It may take trial and error to discover what works best for, but it can help you adapt to changes, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks. Overall helping to manage your mental health better.
Psychological Self-Care involves learning, thinking, and growing. Psychological self-care activities might include personal and professional development. Give attention to things that are in your control or, your sphere of influence. Take time for personal reflection.
Keep a reflective journal.
Seek and engage in external supervision or regularly consult with a more experienced colleague.
Engage with a non-work hobby.
Turn off your email and work phone outside of work hours.
Make time for relaxation.
Make time to engage with positive friends and family.
Do the things that makes you happy and that you’re good at.
5 ways that self-care can be done in:
Get regular exercise. Try going on a 30 minute walk every day to help boost your mood and improve your health. Small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at one time or commit every day.
Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated. A balanced diet and plenty of water can improve your energy and focus throughout the day. With that said, limit caffeinated beverages such as soft drinks or coffee.
Make sleep a priority. Stick to a schedule, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Being on the devices may hinder brain relaxation, therefore try to set it aside at least 10-15 minutes before sleeping.
Try a relaxing activity. Explore relaxation or wellness programs or apps, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Schedule regular times for these and other healthy activities you enjoy such as journaling.
Set goals and priorities as you reflect. Decide what is to be done now and what can wait. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. Taking one step at a time is better than bigger steps when accomplishing a goal.
Try to be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do. Reflecting on the day itself allows one to understand their activity and habits. It could form some sort of motivation to do better the next, however bear in mind, progress isn’t completion!
Practice gratitude. Remind yourself daily of things you are grateful for. Be specific. Write them down at night or replay them in your mind.
Focus on positivity. Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
Stay connected. Reach out to your friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical help. This would build healthy and meaningful connections as well.