Self-care is an important part of any mental health routine. Practicing regular self-care can improve your mental health and reduce the negative impact of chronic stress on your mind and body. While a little bit of stress is a natural part of life, it is important to practice self-care to promote relaxation and peace of mind for overall health and well-being.
So what is self-care? Below are some simple ways for practicing self-care and improving your mental health.
Know your limits and set boundaries
Avoiding triggers and allowing yourself to say no to things that wear you down or harm you physically or emotionally is a form of self-care. This can apply to your work, personal life, relationships, and recreational activities.
Having a healthy support system of people who respect your boundaries and limits is important. If people in your life don't wish you well or constantly make you feel negative, it might be time to reconsider those relationships.
Find healthy ways to decompress
How do you tune out the noise? Doing things that help you take a break from a busy day is a great way to practice self-care. Here is a list of things you can do when you are ready to hit the pause button:
- Take a walk
- Practice yoga
- Cuddle with your pet
- Spend time in nature
- Draw or paint
- Listen to your favorite song
- Have a spa day
- Take a nap
- Write in your journal
- Practice gratitude
- Have a dance party
- Play a board game with friends or family
Make time for the things that you love to do
Life is busy, and we can sometimes forget to make time for our passions and hobbies. Having a hobby or activity that you enjoy and do regularly is a great way to let off steam and bring purpose into your life.
Hobbies can be anything from painting birdhouses to having a weekly game of soccer with your friends. Taking part in hobbies regularly is a great way to practice self-care and improve your mental health.
Look after your physical health
Basic needs such as getting enough rest, maintaining personal care, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise are essential for your mental health and well-being. Focusing on these activities not only helps your body feel healthy in the long run but will also increase your self-esteem.
- Aim to eat a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains, fish, seafood, lean meats, and a limited amount of dairy.
- Start out by doing ten minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise twice a day.
- Set a goal to get enough restful sleep each night (about 7 hours a night for ages 18-60).
- Drink at least 64 oz of water daily.
Practicing self-care on a regular basis helps to avoid burnout and improves your mental health so you are able to be the best version of you possible. If you are interested in talking to someone about your mental health, learn more about our counseling centers here, or request an appointment below.