13 Self-care Tips to Help You Achieve Good Mental Health
Mental health has been an increasingly pressing problem in recent years. Depression, anxiety, and mood swings are just a few of the most commonly experienced mental illnesses. This is why, for many people, mental health self-care has become so crucial.
I am a young woman devoted to helping other young people like myself to better understand the concept of mental health, and why it is important to take care of their mental health. I wrote this blog because I have gone through depression myself and I wanted to talk about some of what I implemented to help me overcome it. These may not all work for everyone, but I want to share with you some self-care tips that I found most helpful and easiest you can carry out in your daily life.
1. Take a social media break
The reality that is depicted on social media is not always accurate. Using social media frequently can have devastating effects on people who are struggling with their mental health. For example, spending too much time on social media might make you feel like you’re falling short of your potential, when continually comparing yourself to others’ lives. Limiting your time on social media might assist you in focusing on other messages that encourage emotions of self-appreciation.
2. Try healthier eating
Research has shown that the consumption of processed food can be detrimental to mental health. Sugar is abundant in processed meals. The amount of serotonin — known as the “happy” hormone — in a person’s system increases when they consume sugar. This causes us to become reliant on certain meals whenever we are down.
According to nutritionists, your diet should include the following three foods for good mental health:
Complex carbohydrates: These include brown rice, millet, and sweet potatoes. This type of carbohydrate will leave you feeling full for a longer time compared to the simple carbohydrates found in sugar and candy.
Lean proteins: These provide energy that allows your body to think and react quickly. Sources of lean proteins include eggs, meat, chicken, soybeans, fish, nuts, and seeds.
Fatty acids: Fatty acids help with the proper function of your brain and nervous system. They can be found in fish, eggs, meat, and flaxseeds.
3. Engage in your hobbies or explore a new one
Hobbies are about more than just about passing the time or enjoying quality alone time. They are crucial for your mental health and general well-being. According to research, people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from depression, stress, and low moods. It is therefore important for your mental health that you find activities that will make you happier and feel more relaxed.
Just a few hobbies that you can get into include painting, music, writing, gardening, fishing, and yoga.
4. Keep a journal
When we were kids, I’m sure most of us maintained hidden journals in which we recorded our innermost thoughts and feelings. However, for some reason, as we got older, we stopped keeping our diaries.
Journaling can help you improve your mental health in the following ways:
It allows you to track stressors and symptoms associated with mental illnesses. This can help you discover recurring triggers and in turn, help you devise strategies to deal with them.
Assisting you in prioritizing your issues, concerns, and anxieties. It’ll be easy to find out what’s bothering you the most and focus your attention where it’s needed.
Creating a safe environment in which you may work through unpleasant ideas and actions.
5. Hang out with people you care about
It can be really beneficial to your mental health to spend time with the people you care about — people who make you feel good and comfortable with yourself. At the same time, you should also cut off connections to people who are not good for you.
Your spouse, children, parents, or your best friend might be among those who are beneficial. They are the ones who know the most about you. They can sense if you aren’t feeling well. When you talk to them about the difficulties that are upsetting you, they will not judge you.
They may actually be able to assist you in dealing with your issues and will accompany you on your recovery path until you are able to stand on your own.
6. Create a schedule
From the second your alarm clock goes off in the morning, you must begin making choices. Should you take a shower or eat breakfast first? Will you go for a run or check your inbox? So, what are your plans for the day? Most of these choices may appear simple, yet one after another, they can be stressful. These are decisions that you can make ahead of time if you follow a routine and stick to a plan.
With a routine, you are able to complete the tasks that you set out to do, which makes you feel good about yourself. Sticking to a timetable also allows you to prioritize things and therefore help you to make time for relaxation. You may use that time to read a book, play video games, or paint, all of which are beneficial to your mental health.
7. Explore what you love — and do it!
Maybe you are passionate about keeping the environment clean, or tree planting, or maybe you are passionate about rescuing animals off the street. You may join any of the organizations or charities in your area that are active in any of the topics you are passionate about. If your passion lies in saving the environment, you can choose to join environmental charities. Participating in activities that you like will significantly assist you in achieving excellent mental health.
8. Try online therapy
It might be difficult to leave the house when you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. This is where internet counselling comes into play. Despite the fact that many people are opposed to online therapy, it does have advantages, such as:
Online treatment sessions are less expensive than physical therapy sessions.
Some people may find it easier to share personal details in an online session.
It can be less daunting to reach out to an online therapist if you experience social anxiety.
9. Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is extremely important to our general well-being. It allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to merge our memories and process information. Poor sleep has been linked to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, so it’s critical to enhance the quality of your sleep if you want to get adequate rest. Things like adjusting the light, noise, and temperature in your bedroom, as well as modifying your eating, drinking, and exercise habits, are some strategies that may help.
10. Spend time in nature
According to psychotherapist Dr Stephanie Sarkis, being out in nature improves both your mental and physical wellbeing. It is recommended that you have at least a 50-minute walk in nature once or twice a week, according to Dr Benjamin Levy. Sunlight can make you feel good in both your body and mind. Being exposed to natural light can increase your mood and self-esteem. This further helps you decrease anxiety and negative feelings, while also helping you improve your working memory.
Travelling to places you like spending time can also be great; both the change in your scenery and the chance to experience new things can positively support your mental wellbeing.
11. Practice gratitude
Our minds are affected positively every time we practice gratitude. You can start practicing gratitude by keeping a gratitude journal to help you keep track of all the good things in your life. Some of the positive effects of practicing gratitude include:
• Minimizing negative habits, patterns of thinking, and feelings
• Helping us feel inspired and motivated
• Preventing worry and frustration
12. Learn how to stop procrastination
Studies have shown that procrastination is linked to poor mental health. When you procrastinate, you are faced with negative thoughts like “what’s the point?”. Procrastination becomes the norm when you are afraid to fail. Or continually think that you are not good enough for the task at hand.
To achieve good mental health, you should make an effort to learn how to stop procrastinating. You can start by breaking down our tasks into smaller tasks and start doing them one by one until you are done — as I said before, routines can be incredibly helpful in more ways than one.
13. Value yourself
Self-value is more behavioural than emotional, focusing on how you act toward the things you value, such as yourself, rather than how you feel about yourself in comparison to others. It’s imperative that self-care is included throughout the practice of all the other points on this list.
It’s vital for our mental health that we value and respect ourselves; through strengthening our sense of self-worth, we cherish the time, energy, effort, and sacrifices we make. We should nurture all of ourselves, the good and the bad, while working to improve ourselves through taking care of our physical and mental health.
This ends my list of the various popular and important self-care tips to help you achieve better mental health. Of course, these are not all of them but are some of the ones I have found to be very important. These may not work for everyone, but there is no reason not to try, right?
Also, take your time when implementing them. You should strive to develop a strategy for how you intend to enhance your mental health by working on yourself. Your mental health is important, and you don’t have to rush through your journey. There are no deadlines when it comes to doing what is best for yourself.