Does Self-Care Promote Positive Mental Health?
Self-care is something we should all be practicing in our daily lives. But it’s a little different when you undertake self-care to contribute to positive mental health. Here’s why it’s a great idea.
It Helps Get You out in the World
One of the main symptoms of depression is isolating yourself and not being interested in activities you used to enjoy. This doesn’t contribute to positive mental health. Getting outside may not only get you sunlight and exercise, but it can help you socialize, as well.
All of these things are great for self-care and staying healthy, as well as creating more positive mental health. Sunlight is known to boost your mood and increase serotonin in your brain. It’s a great way to help combat depression, as is exercise. Being outside and working out both make you feel good, physically and mentally.
Stress Has Serious Consequences
If you aren’t taking care of yourself, it definitely takes a toll on you. Stress manifests itself in the body in many ways. It can make your muscles tight, impact your energy levels and ability to sleep and can even give you headaches and an upset stomach.
Mentally, your head is a mess, and you’re constantly worried. If stress is keeping you awake, your brain isn’t getting the rest it needs to fully recharge. Taking care to avoid stressful situations is really important. Stress has a domino effect that affects every part of your body. The more you can avoid it, the better your physical and mental health will be.
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Routines Are Good
Getting yourself into a self-care routine can do wonders for your mental health. We tend to put things off that could be very beneficial to us, or do too much of something that isn’t that great. Getting into a routine is all about prioritizing your mental health and making sure you’re taking care of yourself properly every day.
One of the simplest ways to start is to make sure you have a good bedtime and are waking up at the same time every day. Getting enough rest — but not too much — is crucial to your mental state. Having a to-do list of productive things can help you get tasks done. But you also want to make sure you don’t neglect things that are enjoyable.
Do things you find fun. It’s probably not a good plan to spend your entire day watching Netflix, but it’s OK to watch a couple of episodes of your favorite show. That’s going to put you in a good mood, as well as serving as a break from all the responsibilities you’re getting accomplished that day.
Self-Care Means Saying No
Too often, we don’t put ourselves first. We let others influence our decisions and coerce us into things that may not be very good for us. Self-care means getting out of these situations and understanding why. If you encounter something that triggers stress or anxiety, or just something you don’t enjoy doing very much, it’s OK to stand up and say no.
Too much stress or attending an event that brings up bad memories can seriously mess up our mental health. It can ruin weeks or months worth of hard work at self-care. That’s why it’s so important to avoid things that could lead to a breakdown or a large step back from where we’ve gotten. No matter who’s trying to get you to go to these events, think of how it’s going to impact you. Is it really worth it?
Self-Care Isn’t Always Simple
With mental health, self-care can amount to more than everyday tasks. It can involve going to a doctor for medication or heading to therapy. And that’s OK. It’s important to realize when it’s time to take the next step. If you have a good routine and are doing all you can, and it’s still not working, that’s when you know it’s time for some extra help.
Seeing a therapist isn’t something to be ashamed of. In fact, more people should probably be undergoing therapy.
You want to be the best you possible. That means doing whatever it takes. You may be surprised to see just how helpful these solutions can be.
Self-care is extremely important for mental health. Start paying extra attention to your self-care today, and see the wonders it can do for your mental state.
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