9 Ways to Look After Your Mental Health
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand times more: Mental health is just as important as physical health. So, that means that taking care of your mind is equally as important as taking care of your body. Everyone, regardless of whether you have a mental illness or not, can do things that keep them mentally healthy. This is called self-care. Self-care is a term often used to describe a night of treating yourself to bath bombs and face masks, but it’s more than just that. Here are 9 ways you can practice self-care to look after your mental health:
Exercise - Exercise has several benefits for mental health, including reducing depression, stress, and anxiety. It does this by releasing endorphins, a “feel-good” hormone that helps you feel happy. Exercising can also help boost your self-esteem and confidence, which will naturally help you feel better. A good sweat session is a great way to clear your mind and get out some built-up tension, too.
Take a break - Take a break from work, housework, people, and whatever else is bothering you. Taking time for yourself to recharge can help you feel less fatigued, stressed, and overwhelmed. You know the old saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Ditch technology during your break and focus on enjoying your time to yourself!
Do something you’re good at - Spend some time doing something you enjoy doing, and do your best to be present in the moment. Doing hobbies can not only help clear your mind, but also boost confidence when you do something well.
Talk about your feelings - Whether you need to talk to a friend or a professional, it’s important to talk about your feelings. Pent up feelings just end up bubbling over, so let it out every now and then.
Ask for help when you need it - This applies to everything in life! See a therapist if you feel like you’re struggling. Reach out to friends or family members for support. Ask your boss for some tips if you’re overwhelmed by a project at work. A lot of us can feel like a burden or like we’re not good enough when we ask for help, but the reality is that everyone needs help sometimes because we’re not superhuman! We can’t possibly do everything alone, and that’s okay.
Journal - You can use your journal to document things in your life, to vent, to plan, or to just put your thoughts on paper. Writing about how you feel or what you’re going through can be therapeutic and can really help with processing or making sense of things.
Practice gratitude - Try to list ten things you’re grateful for! Thinking of things you’re thankful for can help to focus on the positive things you have in your life.
Spend time with your pet - There’s really nothing like the love a pet can give. Strengthening your bond with your pet can help us feel less alone. If you don’t have a pet, text a friend who has one or go to a dog park and pet some pups! Spending time with furry friends is also known to decrease the stress hormone cortisol, and increases the production of oxytocin, which boosts happiness.
Get some sunlight and fresh air - Spending time in the sun is known to increase the brain’s serotonin levels, which boosts mood. Getting outside and connecting with nature is so relaxing and can help you unwind.
Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments what your favorite way of practicing self-care is :)