By Rachel Rosenblatt
Mental health is vital to your overall well-being, but it’s normal to struggle sometimes. And, just like your physical health, you need to take proactive care of your mental health in order to maintain and/or increase its health.
It’s important to remember that it’s okay not to be okay. Just like you don’t think there’s anything wrong with you when you experience minor aches and pains in the body, or serious ones, the same should hold true for your mental health. If daily self-care of your mental well-being isn’t helping, we encourage you to seek out professional help from a therapist or psychiatrist.
Taking care of your mental health is a daily practice. It’s the self-care your mind needs to be healthy and strong. Thankfully, it doesn’t require a ton of effort, just consistency. Here are seven simple ways to take care of your mental health:
Whether it’s going for a walk, practicing yoga, or hitting the gym, practicing mindful movement is a fantastic form of self-care. Mindful movement is less about the physical benefits of exercise and more about moving your body in a way feels good. Of course, all movement has physical benefits, so you’ll get those too!
Hydration is something most people take for granted, and while many of us may think we’re drinking enough water throughout the day, stats show that is not the case. As it turns out, about 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Symptoms of chronic dehydration can include dizziness, irritability, headaches, and a general brain fogginess. By making sure you stay hydrated throughout the day, you can ease a potential trigger for your mental health and take care of your mind and body.
The Great Outdoors
Time in nature is a natural way to practice self-care. As humans, we need to breathe fresh air, stare up at the sky, listen to the sounds of nature, notice a beautiful flower or majestic tree, and feel the warmth of the sun on our faces.
Spending time in nature doesn’t have to be extravagant. Yes, it’s wonderful to visit the great national parks and other natural wonders, but the beauty of nature can be found in a local park, a nearby nature preservation site, your backyard, or simply taking a walk in your local neighborhood. Nature is all around, and you can find its beauty and restorative powers in even the smallest of pockets.
Meditation is a great way to tap into your inner peace. It can help you acknowledge and accept thoughts and feelings in a relaxing manner and is fantastic for checking in with yourself and working to relieve potential stress.
When meditating, it helps to bring your focus to the present moment using your breath as a guide. Another great way to meditate is to focus on a daily affirmation that will ground you for the rest of the day!
Speaking of affirmations, practicing daily positive affirmations is another great way to practice self-care. It can help you remain positive by habitually acknowledging your own strength and confidence in life. Affirmations are often spoken in the morning to start your day off on the right foot, but they are also good whenever you are feeling anxious.
Here are some of our favorite affirmations—give them a try!
– I am enough. I am whole.
– My presence is my power.
– I am strong. I can handle whatever comes my way.
Check out these 10 empowering morning mantras to start your day!
Sleeping for a solid 7-9 hours a night has amazing physical benefits, but it is also a great form of self-care. During sleep, the brain processes emotional information. Lack of sleep has been shown to negatively influence mood and emotional reactivity. Your brain simply does not function properly without adequate sleep, so get your Zzzzzz’s!
FUN & Relaxation!
Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to enjoy a little fun and/or relaxation! This can be jamming out to your favorite song, taking a relaxing bubble bath by candlelight, watching your favorite comedy special or movie for a good laugh, going out dancing with friends, or simply sitting on the deck or front porch and doing absolutely nothing.
There are only two criteria that your fun and relaxation time must meet:
1. It’s safe.
2. You enjoy it.
Make a list of everything that meets these criteria and start incorporating them into your daily living!
We hope you take some time this month to build proactive mental health habits. The truth is you can’t compartmentalize your health. Everything is connected! It is impossible to achieve optimal physical health without optimal mental health and vice versa. So make your mental health a priority and practice self-care!
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