You spend time at the gym to keep your body in shape, but what steps are you taking to protect your mental health? Self-care is one of the simplest methods for improving your mental health and helping you live a happier life. It’s just as important as exercise, so make sure you start practicing habits that keep you de-stressed and relaxed. If you want to take control of your mental health, here are some self-care routines that can help the most.
Find Ways to Relax Your Mind
If you want to use self-care to manage your mental health, it makes sense to spend some time caring for your mind. Stress is one of the biggest hazards for your mental health, and chronic high levels of stress can lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Practicing self-care, however, is one of the most effective ways to minimize stress effects on your mind and maintain better mental health. So, learn how to give your mind a break from daily stress in your life. Step away from work and go for a walk outside, or find a space where you can practice mindful meditation so you can quickly melt that mental tension away.
Spend Some Time Outdoors
It’s no secret that spending time in nature can help you feel better overall. Not only does fresh air help you relax, but it can also provide you with some of the vitamins you need to live a healthy life. If you spend the majority of your days locked indoors, you could strongly benefit from getting outside. For example, you could hike a nearby trail, hang out with the kids and play basketball, go for a swim, or simply relax in the backyard. Here’s the important part: As long as it’s comforting and healthy, then it’s beneficial for good self-care.
Stop Saying ‘Yes’ to Everything
Your time is valuable, and you have to protect it in order to stick to a regular routine of self-care. Friends, family members, and colleagues may all want to encroach on that time without meaning any real harm, but overloading your schedule can be dangerous for your mental health. So, take a deep breath and learn how to finally start saying “no” without any feelings of guilt. Be firm when you turn down offers, and move on from your decision instead of dwelling on it and causing yourself more anxiety.
Focus on Improving Your Sleep
Stress relief is the core of self-care, but sleep is definitely the foundation. Lack of sleep can negatively impact so many aspects of your health. You may be more prone to illness, unable to focus, and out of control of your moods. Sleep and anxiety are also closely linked, so if you need to focus on one self-care habit, start by improving your sleep. Create a natural sleep routine by selecting a set bedtime every night and getting yourself used to the idea of waking up at the same time every morning. Light therapy alarm clocks, which mimic the rising sun, can be extremely useful in helping yourself wake up more naturally.
Learn to Eat Compassionately
Not surprisingly, food plays a very important role in your health. Not only do healthy foods nourish your body, but food also provides the opportunity to make compassionate choices for yourself and others. You can learn to be less harsh with yourself and not stress so much about what you put into your body. As long as you are making an effort to stay on track, you should be proud of your habits. To show true compassion, however, and reap benefits for your mind and body, think about switching to a plant-based diet. Vegan diets may even help fight depression, which is another benefit of ditching dairy, meat, and eggs.
Self-care is a key to good mental health. So, make sure you keep some self-care in your daily routine and take time to make yourself a priority.
This post is provided by Brad Krause, founder of http://selfcaring.info/