In the demanding lifestyle of the modern world, it’s easy to put important responsibilities first. This includes aspects of life such as work-related pressures, financial issues, family and friends. But whilst doing so, we often forget to put our main responsibility first, and that is our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
Self care is a broad term that encompasses any sort of activity you do to be good to yourself. It’s about knowing when your natural energy and resources need replenishing and actively working to improve them.
You can define self care as ‘any activity that we deliberately do in order to take care of our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing’. Although in theory, it’s a simple concept, it’s something for various reasons we often overlook.
Self care is a key aspect of stress management that practices taking certain actions to preserve and improve one’s own health and wellness. This could be anything and often differs between person to person. For some of us, this could be regular exercise and eating healthy, for others, it could be a nice long bath and a face mask.
Taking care of oneself is key to reducing anxiety and improving your mood. This helps you manage a good relationship with not only yourself but others, which has many positive snowball effects on day to day life.
For example, we are more resilient and able to handle life’s stress when we are feeling our best both emotionally and physically. This helps us manage aspects of daily life with greater balance and control. Other examples include:
When you learn and implement activities that are good for your wellbeing, you start making time for self improvement - physically and mentally. This helps bring your goals into sharper focus and boosts your energy for the things that matter the most.
Although it’s easy to feel like self care is actually selfish, it allows you to give more. Revitalizing the body and mind gives you more resources to be compassionate to those close to you.
There is overwhelming evidence that many self care activities activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Your body fortifies its natural immune system which improves the resistance to disease - helping you feel strong inside and out.
Regular self care sends positive messages to your subconscious. Specifically, you treating yourself like you matter boosts your intrinsic value, which helps discourage any negative inner voice.
Self care techniques require deep thought about what you actually love to do. You can take up new hobbies or maintain old ones that help you figure out where your passions lie. This helps you understand yourself a lot better by living the life you love.
Self care practices help control mental health as you become more capable of managing feelings of anxiety, paranoia, sadness and anger. Removing these critical inner doubts from your mental space can greatly help boost positivity. This has positive effects on your everyday life, such as a greater ability to handle stress, higher levels of compassion, and confidence within yourself.
Here are some self care tips and techniques on how to improve your mental health. These activities will help replenish your body and mind.
Starting small by taking little steps towards sufficient self care can be a big benefit if you’re feeling low. Gradually build wellbeing activities into your routine to steadily increase mental and physical health. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day - any forward momentum is good momentum.
Set yourself daily or weekly goals to feel a level of accomplishment once they are completed. These goals can be divided into achievement oriented, pleasure oriented or relaxation oriented - creating a natural balance in your day to day life.
Evidence suggests the transition over recent years from fresh food produce to sugars and saturated fats has prevented the brain from functioning at optimum levels. Making sure that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet is a crucial part of taking care of yourself.
Physical activity’s impact on depression and anxiety is now part of the routine prescription for reducing the symptoms. Exercise boosts endorphins in the brain, which are essentially the human body’s natural feel good factor. These endorphins counteract negative feelings within the mind which stimulates various positive effects.
Regular use of drink and drugs can lead to negative impacts on physical and mental health. Minimizing the use of harmful substances is a form of self care in the fact that your body’s natural hormones and chemicals remain unaltered.
As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved, and venting your stresses onto someone you trust can bring a sense of relief to your wellbeing. The person that’s close to you can give heartfelt guidance and feedback surrounding how you feel and how you can get better.
Everyone relaxes their mind in different ways, so no set method of relaxation is a guarantee to make you feel better. It’s important to find an activity that helps you unwind. This could be anything from taking a nice hot bath, taking a walk for some fresh air, or using a meditation programme such as Headspace.
Improve your personal skill set by taking the time to learn something new. This could be information that helps you in your job, taking up a new hobby, or finding out some fun facts about something you love.
There are many suggested self care activities that help you begin to love yourself again. But…. It’s important to remember that everyone is different, self care to you could differ from others, and this is completely natural. Finding the self care techniques that make YOU feel better is the most important step. For more ideas, click here.
If you are suffering from a mental health condition that requires some professional assistance, see how we can help you today. Brevin are specialists in mental health treatment for a number of conditions - to check which, navigate to our homepage by clicking here.
And… remember. No matter how you’re feeling, there is always a solution. It is completely possible to recover from a mental health condition through the right support and guidance and live a happy and enriched life.