On World Mental Health Day Take the Time to Think About the Importance of Self-Care to Your Mental Health
We often take action to improve our physical health – exercising, eating healthily, reducing alcohol intake, etc; but do you take the same proactive approach to your mental health?
To be truly healthy we need to focus on our mental health too; and a great way we can improve our mental health and wellbeing is to ensure we are incorporating self-care practices into our daily routine.
Self-care can not only help in managing the symptoms of mental health conditions; it can also be a preventative tool that enables some mental health problems from developing. Self-care also helps us be more productive, increases our immunity and improves our self-esteem too.
We often think that self-care is an indulgent, selfish activity; but considering the benefits of self-care, perhaps it is time we really started to focus on and prioritise looking after ourselves a bit more.
The reality is that we have this natural tendency to commonly put the needs and priorities of others above those of our own; however, it should actually be the reverse – we need to look after ourselves so we can better support others. Think about the airline safety briefing where we are told in the event of emergency to “put your oxygen mask on first” before assisting others as we are completely useless to help others if we have no oxygen ourselves.
Self-care can easily be incorporated into our daily lives, with minimal interruption. Sometimes all it takes is 5 minutes to bring some self-care into our life which nourishes ourselves and enhances our mental wellbeing.
It’s true that sometimes we need more than self-care strategies to improve our mental health; and by taking steps to seek help and support by telling people how you are feeling – whether that be someone close to you, or initiating contact with a specialist or an organisation is also a form of self-care too as by talking to others you are taking action to look after yourself.
On this World Mental Health Day take time to think about what type of self-care activities you can easily introduce into your day – and start taking action today. Perhaps it’s a 5-minute walk outside, reading a chapter of that book you’ve been wanting to start, listening to your favourite music, or calling an adored friend you haven’t spoken to recently.
You deserve to take time to care for yourself; and actually, you really need to.