Self-Care Improves Mental Health

By Communicare

Paying attention to your physical health and recognizing emotional patterns are self-care techniques that mental health professionals recommend to help improve mental health.

Let’s examine how you can use common self-care techniques to live life to the fullest.

What is Self-Care?

The application of self-care is different for everyone. For some, it’s a day of physical pampering, while it’s a walk on the beach for others — or a good, long workout for still others. One person may think spending time alone is the best way to practice self-care, while another may look to socialize in a group.

Self-care also doesn’t have to be expensive — it’s not regular trips to a spa or salon or purchasing things. In fact, a self-care routine is more likely to become a lifelong habit when it’s free and easy to practice every day, no matter where you are.

While self-care acts may all seem like physical activities, the truth is that their power is in how they stimulate (or recharge) you psychologically and emotionally–helping improve your holistic well-being and mental health. The key is being mindful of your individual needs and doing things you love to relax, recharge, gain strength and focus. When you feel calm, rested and positive, your mental health improves.

Improving Mental Health with Self-Care Techniques

Here are a few everyday therapeutic activities and lifestyle changes that mental health professionals know boost mental health. Experiment and find the ones that work best for you!

Daily exercise

Exercise provides physical benefits such as weight management and increased energy, but it also offers plenty of mental benefits. Physical activity is scientifically proven to boost mood, decrease stress, increase self-esteem and improve sleep. Exercise also stimulates neurogenesis, creating new brain cells and boosting brain performance and mental energy.

The key is to identify the activities you enjoy so you’ll do them regularly.

Healthy diet

Diet impacts mental health because the quality of nutrition affects brain function and digestive health. Therefore, eating a diet rich in nutrients can improve how your brain transmits signals and balances the gut microbiome–both of which contribute to your mental well-being.

Many people have unknown food sensitivities that can cause your body chronic distress; an elimination diet can help identify any foods that are not serving your physical and mental health.

Quality sleep

Setting up your bedroom to promote deep, restful sleep is one way to care for yourself. As is establishing patterns that help you wind down before bed and keeping a consistent routine.

Relax and recharge

You don’t have to pay for a massage, either. Self-massage and even dry brushing of the skin have beneficial effects on stress and mood.

Being proactive about engaging in self-care activities can be a preventive measure for mental health issues. But if you feel that you can no longer handle your emotions on your own, it may be time to seek the help of a mental health professional.