Answer this. When was the last time you prioritized self-care in your daily routine? Probably a long time ago, or maybe never.
In today’s age, most of us are busy leading a busy life. We are so immersed in caring for others that we often overlook ourselves. And while caring, empathy, and compassion are excellent personality traits, ignoring taking care of ourselves can leave us exhausted. In simpler words, we can’t be at our best when we don’t prioritize self-care.
Many people think of self-care as an indulgence or something they don’t usually have enough time for. Some people believe even spending time in self-care practices is selfish. However, the truth is far from it. Instead, self-care is an essential part of maintaining mental health wellness.
Luckily, self-care does not have to be something fancy or costly. You can follow the below simple practices and learn the art of taking care of yourself:
- Go for therapy
Are you suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems? Due to this, you might start abusing addictive substances to relieve tension and feel better. However unfortunately, taking addictive substances might make you feel good, but for only a short period. Later on, it can instead aggravate your condition. Therefore, consider getting professional treatment if such is the case with you. After all, seeking treatment is a sign of strength.
Keep in mind that there is no universal treatment for all addicts. So if you are in confusion which treatment center to opt for, consider reaching out to the Palm Beach Institute, which offers personalized treatment plans according to your needs.
- Set goals
We all know the significance of self-care. And we want to include it in our lives, but we usually make different excuses now and then instead of actually practicing it. It is probably because we find it hard to understand where to start and what tips to follow.
Therefore, a better idea is to sit back and determine what goals you want to achieve. You can do so by figuring out your interests and the things that make you happy and relaxed. Then, once you have set your goals, create a strict schedule to remain focused.
- Exercise regularly
It is no secret that the mind and body have a strong connection. For example, when you move your body, your mood soars, and your brain can better concentrate and help alleviate stress.
Your physical activity doesn’t necessarily have to be strenuous. Start with gentle exercises. For instance, go for a ten-minute walk daily, try yoga, stretches, etc. However, be mindful to choose the physical activity that you enjoy. That way, you are more likely to feel motivated to continue it.
- Avoid excessive screen consumption
Today, technology and the internet are an inevitable part of our lives. Different people use them for various purposes, for example, to communicate with loved ones, for entertainment, for work/study purposes, etc.
Nevertheless, too much screen consumption can also negatively impact your mental health. For example, spending too much time on social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook, etc., may make you feel lonely or inferior. Therefore, minimize screen time and build a stronger connection with real people in the real world.
- Eat healthily
Have you ever paid attention to what you eat and when you eat? These things can affect your health significantly.
When you are sad or depressed, you might choose to eat sugary or fast foods to comfort yourself. But, consuming such foods can be detrimental to your health. Therefore, make sure to eat a well-balanced diet. Your diet must include fatty acids, carbohydrates, lean proteins, etc.
Also, limit your caffeine and soft drinks intake. Instead, try to keep your body well hydrated.
- Find a new hobby
Living a stressful life due to work and family commitments, you might be a little reluctant to develop a new hobby simply because you don’t have time. However, a chaotic life schedule may lead to fatigue, stress, frustration, and other negative emotions. That is why investing your time in a new hobby can help bring joy to your never-ending stressful life.
So think of something that you enjoy doing. It could be anything, such as painting, dancing, reading, cooking, planting, etc.
- Get peer support
One of the best ways to improve your mental health is by connecting with your loved ones. Dealing with mental health issues, you might believe that no one understands you and you don’t need anyone. But staying alone can worsen your condition. As a result, you might have suicidal thoughts or seek comfort in substance abuse.
However, reaching out to someone who understands and supports you can boost your confidence, reduce your emotional burden, and make you happy.
- Set boundaries
Most people have trouble practicing this self-care tip – learning to say no. But if you want to take control of your mental health, you need to establish your boundaries. Putting yourself first and defining limits might be challenging if you are a people-pleaser. But, with some time and practice, you can learn.
You can boost your self-esteem and lower your stress by learning when to say no. Furthermore, you won’t be burdening yourself and will have more energy for your needs.
- Practice positivity
Your mindset plays a crucial role in improving your mental health. If you constantly welcome negative emotions, it will be destructive to your mental health. Put this way, negative thoughts and emotions will snatch happiness from you. Therefore, shift your focus to the positive things in your life.
You can keep a journal where you jot down all the good things you have in your life. By doing so, you can get rid of negative feelings, patterns, and habits.
- Allow yourself to relax
Lastly, your self-care toolkit is incomplete without relaxing your mind and body. So schedule some time in your busy schedule to relax. You can set aside at least 10-20 minutes for practicing relaxing activities. It is a great way to clear your mind, improve your concentration, and improve your overall outlook.
Start by taking small deep breaths. You can also go out in nature and fill your lungs with fresh air to relax your body and soul. If that doesn’t work, try mindful meditation.
In recent years, mental health issues have been increasing globally. According to research, in the previous 12 months, approximately 20.3 percent of people received mental health treatments. With this staggering rate, prioritizing self-care has become even more crucial.
It is relevant to note that self-care practices may vary from person to person. Therefore, first, determine what you need and enjoy most. Then, list the techniques that work best for you.