Self-care and mental health

Self-care and mental health

Self-care and mental health 2000 1333 Team Mindsum

This article covers:

– What is self-care?

– Self-care strategies

What is self-care?

Self-care means anything that you do to preserve your mental and physical health. Self-care techniques can help you to manage and even prevent symptoms of many mental health problems.  

Self-care might include different activities that help you to calm down, relax and feel better. There is no one-way to practice self-care. It depends on you and what you find most helpful for your mental health.

It is important to mention that self-care is not a substitute for going to see a professional. It is always good to consider going to see a mental health expert.

Self-care strategies

Below is an example list of ten things that could be considered as self-care strategies:

1. Doing things you love

Whether this means putting on your favourite TV series, singing, painting or spending time with friends, as long as it is safe, make time for it. These activities will bring you a kind of pleasure that can help you to keep away negative thoughts.

2. Writing things down

Putting down your thoughts in a journal can allow you to release difficult emotions and express things that you may not feel comfortable to say out loud.

This can also allow you to notice how your mood changes on a day-to-day basis. It is also a good way for you to learn more about yourself.

3. Organising your day

Having a schedule for your day can be very helpful for you to feel productive and grounded each day. Organising small activities to do throughout the day will also help you to break them down into achievable tasks.

By doing this, you might be able to avoid stress because things like schoolwork, house chores and TV time will not pile up on you.

4. Spend time with supportive people

We all need to be around people that we care about, especially when we are struggling. Having a quick chat or a deep discussion with a family, friend or mentor can help to take the pressure off.

Supportive people in our lives usually give good advice and make you feel like you are not alone. This is very important because when you are dealing with a mental illness, it is easy to feel isolated.

5. Physical activities and lifestyle changes

Having a healthy lifestyle will help you to feel good from the inside out. This might include doing any kind of physical activity such as walking, running, dancing, strength training, yoga, Zumba and eating a diet that includes good nutrients for the body.

Physical exercises make you feel good by the release of endorphins in the brain. This is helpful for boosting your mood during the day.

6. Take a social media break

Even though social media is a good way to stay connected with other people, it is a good idea to take small breaks from being online. This is because spending excessive time on social media exposes you to filtered images and content that do not always reflect reality.

Social media might also carry pressures of responding to messages, comments and likes. Many people find it helpful to have a period of social media cleanse, where they simply deactivate their account, delete apps or disable notifications until they are able to enjoy some time offline.

7. Reduce stimulants consumption and other drugs

Some young people believe that alcohol and cigarettes are helpful for easing stress. But it is useful to consider the overall impact of these stimulants on your life and whether this is healthy. These stimulants can be addictive, so it is important to try to cut down and to know your limits.

8. Make time for therapeutic activities

It is helpful to spend time doing those activities that help you to calm down and clear your mind. This might include doing mindfulness exercises, deep breathing, going for a hike, spending time in nature or speaking positive words of affirmation to yourself.

9. Spirituality

Not everyone has spiritual or religious beliefs, but if you do, turning to your faith can be helpful. This might include praying, visiting places of worship, reading religious texts and spending time in a community of others with the same beliefs.

Some people find it helpful to reflect and to believe in a higher power. This can provide a great sense of comfort and purpose, especially during times of difficulty.

10. Be kind to yourself

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with kindness in the same way you would do to a friend. Encourage and allow yourself to make mistakes knowing that you are just human, and mistakes happen.

Talk to yourself as though you were talking to a friend. You would not be harsh to a friend, so why should you be so hard on yourself? Being compassionate towards yourself is the best way to quieten the critical voice that lives inside your head.

List of useful resources

To read their information on self-care, you can click here to access the link.

Anna Freud
To read their list of information on self-care, you can click here to access the link.

Mental Health Foundation
To read their information on self-care, you can click here to access the link.

Click here to get free advice from our experts

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