October 10 is World Mental Health Day and we are all about advocating not just about beauty and skin, but our entire well-being. There are many things that contribute to our well-being which includes our mental health so let’s keep things simple and start with what we have control of – ourselves.
First, let’s define mental health. The National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) states, “Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others. Mental health is more than the absence of a mental illness—it’s essential to your overall health and quality of life.” Taking care of ourselves includes taking care of our mental health and self care plays a big role in maintaining it.
Self-care is taking the time to do the things that help us live our lives well and improve both our physical and mental health. It helps manage stress, lower the risk of getting sick and increase energy. How do we do self-care?
Here are some tips:
Exercise regularly -a 30-minute walk every day can help boost your mood and improve your health. If you can’t do it at one time, remember that small amounts of exercise add up.
Eat healthily and regularly and stay hydrated – eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water improves energy and focus throughout the day. Limit caffeinated beverages like coffee and soft drinks.
Do relaxing activities – Meditation is a good way to relax and free your mind from stressful thoughts. Explore wellness or relaxation apps if you find it challenging to meditate. Journaling is also another activity that helps you relax. Set a regular schedule for this or insert this into your daily routine.
Practice an attitude of gratitude – Gratitude is a way of life. Remind yourself of things that you are grateful for. Set aside time for this, be specific and write them down.
Have a positive attitude – Be aware of your thoughts. Avoid thinking negative thoughts and work on shifting your negative habits into positive ones.
Stay connected – No man is an island. Reach out to family and friends who can provide you with emotional support and help.
Set your goals and priorities- Setting your goals will help you determine which things you need to get done now, and which one can wait. Learning to say “no” is a good place to start. Celebrate your wins no matter how big or small they are.
Have enough sleep – Sleep is when your body rejuvenates and recharges, so it is very important that you get enough. Have a sleep schedule and stick to it. Blue light from devices makes it harder for you to sleep, so reduce blue light in your bedroom.
Take care of your body and skin – While it is true that real beauty comes from within, having healthy skin helps a lot for your self-esteem and boosts your confidence. Have regular check-ups with your health professional and visit your skin care specialist or esthetician regularly.
There is no one way to do self-care. It looks different for everyone and it also includes setting healthy boundaries with friends, family and anyone we come in contact with. For me, self-care is all about self-preservation. Knowing where and when to expend my energy and becoming hyper self-aware when I need to pull my energy back to myself has saved me a ton of anxiety and keeps me feeling balanced and full most of the time. I am still a human being and my moods and emotions fluctuate just like the rest of us but checking in with my internal compass help me to direct my energy where it needs to go.Our emotions are our inner guidance system, we need to listen to them and honor what they are saying. Knowing what is best for ourselves at any given time will save us a ton of heartache and pain. Click To Tweet
It is essential that you find the self-care practices that work for you, and that you enjoy doing them. It could take a while with trial and error, but it’s worth it, be patient with yourself. There is no destination or end point, we are on a lifelong journey.
Self-care is not a cure for mental illness. Understanding what causes and triggers your symptoms and what coping techniques work for you helps you manage your mental health. It’s always advisable to seek the help of a professional if you feel the need to, there is no judgement in that. We all need assistance from time to time and it helps to have someone who is trained and can help teach us some coping skills.
I hope that you are feeling upbeat and have lots of happy moments in life. Happiness comes and goes but we can have a deep joy that we can tap into and remember we are loved and protected at all times.