Revitalize Your Mental Health With Self-Care
Revitalize Your Mental Health with These Simple, Often-Overlooked Self-Care Tips
Boiled down to its most basic definition, self-care can be described as making an effort to prioritize your well-being. This can involve a time commitment, spending money, putting your own needs and desires over those of others, or anything else that helps you feel happier and healthier. Self-care is necessary for good mental health; it’s really that simple. Here are some things you can do right now to give your brain a recharge.
Get a Laugh
If you think this tip is a little funny, you’re wrong. Self-care involves reducing excess stress, and there’s no quicker, easier, or cheaper way to do that than laughter. The Mayo Clinic notes that laughter has been linked to endorphin release in the brain, reduction of your stress response, mood enhancement, pain alleviation, and more. So put on a funny movie, watch some fail videos on YouTube, or hang out with your friends. Have fun, smile, and de-stress.
Whether you get your sleep in bulk at night or you supplement it during the day with naps, it doesn’t really matter. Get sleep whenever you can. Our fast-paced world and our busy schedules have programmed us to feel guilty about getting a lot of sleep, but this is nonsense. Self-care 101 involves getting all the sleep your body requires. Without it, your brain can never fully recharge, and you can be left feeling anxious, depressed, and fatigued.
Getting quality sleep is not always as easy as it sounds, but you can help yourself by eating right and getting daily exercise. Also, don’t discount the benefits of a comfortable sleeping setup, specifically your mattress and bedding. Finding the right mattress for your sleep style and comfort level (especially if you haven’t replaced it in at least five years) can make all the difference when it comes to a restful night’s sleep.
Breathe Cleaner Air
While air quality contributes to physical health, many don’t realize that it also affects your brain and mood. If you feel like your mind isn’t sharp or your emotions are negative, studies have shown that polluted air can be the culprit. You can improve your cognitive health and feel happier by cleaning the air in your home. A good air purifier works to rid the air of pollutants and allergens that impact air quality. Research different air purifiers online to avoid making an impulse purchase.
Know How to Really Relax
Relaxing doesn’t just mean not working. You can still feel stressed, anxious, and harm your mental health while lying in your couch doing nothing. Proper relaxation is a skill, and you need to know how to set yourself up for relaxation success. There are no surefire ways to make yourself relax, but there are dozens and dozens of things you can try. Drink hot tea. Meditate. Sit down and count backward from 100. Visualize a serene scene. Take a bath. Experiment. Find what works for you and then make time every day to get into relaxation mode. You can afford the time commitment. Your mental health is worth it.
Do Something Just for You Every Day
How many things per day do you do that are just for you? Work isn’t just for you. Chores aren’t just for you. Most things we do in life benefit other people — at least in some part. Try to find something to do every single day that benefits nobody but you. Go see a movie. Bake yourself cookies. Leave your responsibilities behind and go for a rejuvenating hike. Many of these activities can and should be done alone (spending time alone has its own health benefits). It sounds so simple, but it’s something that few people truly understand.
Above all else, remember this: self-care is not selfish. For one, you deserve to take the time, money, and energy to focus on your mental health on its own merits. But beyond that, taking time for self-care will have positive effects on other aspects of your life. When your brain is in a good place, you are better at your job, more helpful to your friends, and better suited to care for your family. In this way, your personal self-care is good for you and everyone around you.