As more and more people start to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, or deal with an overwhelming amount of stress, the need for mental health care and support grows. The good news is that you can ease the symptoms of some emotional problems and increase your resilience by just taking good care of yourself.
When it comes to self-care, it’s also important to integrate it into your lifestyle. For example, you may meditate or go to the gym to relieve stress, but meditation or exercising alone won’t compensate for a lack of sleep and a poor diet.
In this article, we will think of what proper self-care looks like and share some of the best self-care practices that might help you improve your mental health. You can always choose self-care ideas that correspond to your goals and unique problems. Just make sure to stick with a comprehensive approach and take care of different aspects of your well-being.
The Importance of Self-Care
Numerous studies showed that having a self-care routine makes it easier for people to cope with stress, increases the level of happiness, and helps fight mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety. Self-care can also help you adapt to changes in your life and get over failures.
Although self-care is for everyone, people have unique needs and problems. Therefore, your self-care and its goals may differ from someone else’s. The most common goals of self-care are:
- Reducing stress;
- Improving physical and mental health;
- Fulfilling one’s emotional needs;
- Achieving balance in different areas of one’s life;
- Improving relationships, etc.
No matter what kind of self-care you practice, aim to achieve balance and work on your wellness, in general. Our lives have many dimensions so people may improve their physical, emotional, intellectual, social, or financial wellness.
There are many ways to practice self-care, the main thing is not to force yourself to do it. The whole point of self-care is to restore energy and improve your well-being, so it shouldn’t turn into an unpleasant experience.
Types of Self-Care
First of all, self-care is more than just relaxation. It should have objectives and help you balance different areas of your life. For instance, you may need to put more effort into improving one of these areas to achieve progress in another area.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You need a healthy body to function properly, and the connection between your body and mind is stronger than you may think. Physical exercises and a healthy diet will help you feel more energized, reduce stress, and improve your self-esteem.
Your thoughts and your very way of thinking have a significant impact on your mental well-being. The key to mental self-care is recognising, challenging, and replacing your unhelpful thoughts. It can be quite a difficult task, so it’s important not to hesitate to ask for help.
A licensed therapist can help you learn to challenge your negative thoughts, and you don’t even need to commute to their office. For example, you can just speak to a therapist online. A therapist can also help you master self-compassion and address the root causes of your emotional struggles.
If you have anxiety, depression, or problems with anger management or stress, your self-care routine should address these issues, and you should learn to cope with your emotions in a healthy way.
Given that people are social creatures, socialisation is also a very important part of self-care. Unfortunately, it can be easy to forget to make some time for your friends and relationships when you have a tight work schedule.
Make sure to allocate a few hours in your schedule so that you can socialise and maintain your personal relationships. The poor work-life balance may not only negatively affect your relationships but also decrease your productivity and lead to burnout.
Self-Care Tips to Improve Your Well-Being
Here are some tips that might help you live a more balanced and fulfilling life. Keep in mind that the right self-care routine depends on your unique needs, problems, and goals. A licensed therapist can help you develop a personalised self-care plan, while the tips below can be used as a general roadmap.
1. Be kind to yourself
Avoid unnecessary self-criticism and practice self-compassion. Make time for activities that you enjoy, try a new hobby, or dedicate some time to learning new skills and personal growth. You should value yourself and your needs, so make sure to prioritize them.
2. Manage stress levels
Unfortunately, stress is an integral part of everyone’s lives, so learning to cope with it is not just an advantage but rather a necessity. Breathing exercises, meditation, expressive writing, or yoga can help you not only manage stress more effectively but also cope with the symptoms of anxiety and other mental health problems.
3. Take care of your physical health
Make sure to do some exercises, which will help you feel better physically and emotionally. Eat healthy food rich in nutrients, stay hydrated, and make sure to get enough sleep. The lack of sleep can lead to countless mental health problems and damage your productivity and physical health.
4. Surround yourself with the right people
Researchers found out that people with strong social connections and families are generally healthier than those who don’t have enough social support. So, make sure to spend enough time with people who appreciate and support you.
5. Set realistic goals
Think of what you want your life to look like and what you’d like to accomplish. Write down the steps you can take to achieve your goals, and keep in mind that every small step on the way to your goal makes you closer to it. Be realistic about your capabilities and make sure that you won’t need to sacrifice other areas of your life to achieve a certain goal.
Your unique problems and needs determine what kind of self-care you need. For instance, the self-care goals of a high-school student might differ from those of a retired person. In both cases, however, self-care is important.
To understand what specific self-care practices might be particularly useful for you, talk to a licensed therapist. Therapy can help you figure out what holds you back and what you can do to improve the quality of your life.
Thanks to online therapy platforms like Calmerry, you don’t even need to commute to a therapist’s office. No matter where you are, you can schedule live video calls or use text therapy and send messages to your therapist whenever you want to share something.
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