6 Types of Self-Care That Benefit Our Mental Health
It seems like wishful thinking to know that little moments taken for yourself can really benefit your mental health, but it's true. Implementing a regular self-care regimen goes a long way in keeping us mentally healthy as well as physically strong. There are six major types of self-care, each with its own specific benefits and advantages to mental health. Familiarizing yourself with these types of self-care and how they affect your mood and thought process makes it much easier to know how to snap out of a depression or stop an unhealthy thought process.
Physical self-care refers to how you take care of your body. This is where your eating habits, exercise routines, skincare regimen, and the like come into play. What’s more, as the Canadian Mental Health Association explains, your physical and mental wellness are closely linked. In fact, you’re probably well aware that when you neglect certain things normally associated with your body, like sleep, your outlook on life can suffer.
Mood also improves with exercise, and some studies indicate that the more you exercise; your brain will become increasingly sensitive to the positive effects. There is a reward center in your brain that is triggered. As you exercise and release feel-good chemicals the receptors signal happier feelings.
Emotional self-care doesn't have to mean expensive therapy or deep, personal revelations. It is more about allowing yourself to feel your emotions as they happen. Give yourself permission to feel however you feel without judgment. Activities such as complimenting yourself in the mirror when you feel great, watching a great comedy, and spending time with people you love are all great ways to tend your emotional wellness. You can also focus on foods that have been proven to help people who suffer from conditions such as depression.
You must also allow yourself to cry and feel sad. It's OK to get angry, too. Accepting your feelings as normal is a part of self-care that benefits your mental health.
From parenting to our careers, we all want to please the people around us, but as Psych Central explains, learning to set boundaries is a must. Take a few minutes every day to assess where you are and how you are dealing with the day's responsibilities. Know when enough is enough, and recognize when you need to feed your own inner self.
Psychological self-care is as easy as going to a museum, taking an hour out of the day to be alone and rest, or even reading up on a random subject out of pure curiosity. Learning to say no when we have enough on our plate and taking time to check in with our interests and curiosities helps to keep us mentally healthy.
Many people underestimate the importance of spiritual self-care. The particular religion or lack of one doesn't matter. The point is to make time in your life to address whatever spiritual beliefs you have. Get in touch with your own inner spirit and help it to flourish.
Feeding your inner spiritual self depends on what type of things inspire you. Some people meditate, pray, or use herbal remedies. Others volunteer to help the homeless or a charitable organization. Think about how you can tend your spiritual self, and engage. If you’re just starting meditating, there are many apps available that are great for beginners, including Omvana and Calm.
For many of us, nothing brings on stress quite like our finances, but with some wallet-friendly changes, you can cut costs and alleviate financial anxiety. You can adjust your shopping habits by buying in bulk or purchasing gently used items on eBay. You can also save by not spending on services that you can take care of on your own (e.g., housekeeping, washing your car). Finally, you may be able to lower your monthly mortgage by refinancing your home. A refinance can replace your current loan with a new loan with improved terms, but you will be required to give up some equity in your home.
People in the workforce or in school can benefit from regular professional self-care. Personalizing your workspace, chatting with coworkers, attending trainings, and keeping a healthy workload balance are all wonderful ways to practice professional self-care.
Staying mindful of these six areas of self-care are immensely helpful at keeping stress and depression at bay. Just a few moments a day to address them can radically change your life.
p.o.m.e. | Guest Writer