By now you have probably realized, that I absolutely love self-care. The simple reason for that is that self-care is a wonderful and absolutely amazing tool to improve your mental health.
I definitely don’t go all in every day, but on Sundays, I love to slow down, relax and unwind without working. Using self-care to improve my mood and energy levels is amazing and such a simple concept really.
Please note, that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission of no extra cost to you. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
Self-care is an amazing and pretty popular concept these days. It has been for a few years actually. But what does self-care really mean and why is it so important to your mental health?
“Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” (source)
Self-care is pretty self-explanatory and a simple concept. And yet I have found that taking care of yourself, and finding time to take care of yourself, can be extremely hard to do. We tend to neglect our own personal wellbeing. Why is that?
Taking time to yourself and using self-care in your everyday routine, can be the absolute most important key to improving your mood and mental health. If you take care of yourself and feel good about yourself, you will be much more likely to have a great relationship with other people.
“Isn’t self-care just about being selfish?”
Absolutely not! Most people, especially women, tend to forget themselves and takes care of everyone else. But, how can you take care of others, if you don’t take care of yourself?
If you have ever been on a plane, you know that if a plane ever crashes, you are supposed to put on your own oxygen mask first. And then you put it on your kid or significant other.
Why do you think they emphasize this every time? It’s simple. You aren’t going to be of any help to anyone unless you are taking care of yourself first.
Particularly when women become mothers, we nurture and look after everyone else. Ever felt guilty about taking just an hour to yourself once in a while? Mothers tend to forget their own mental health and wellbeing, but they should absolutely prioritize their mental health and wellbeing.
Self-care benefits everyone. It improves your mood, rejuvenates your mind and makes you more able to communicate with everyone around you. It improves your mental health and wellbeing. That’s great, right?
What are the benefits of practicing self-care?
Oh yes, now we are getting to the good stuff. Life is busy. We live in a world that changes constantly. We get caught up with work, family, social gatherings, kids, activities, volunteer work, etc., etc.
During all this, we should be able to pull the plug and just take an hour to take care of ourselves. If we don’t, our physical and mental health takes a serious hit.
Stress from your everyday life can affect your physical and mental health in a dangerous way. It can affect your immune system, your hormones, your digestive system and it can most certainly affect your emotional and mental health.
Common stress signs and symptoms:
- Low energy
- Upset stomach
- Tense muscles
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
How does stress feel to you and your physical and mental health? Do you know what situations cause you to feel stressed? Is there anything you can do to avoid feeling this stressed in the future?
You already do some form of self-care every day. It is as simple as showering and brushing your teeth. Brushing your teeth every morning and evening is routine, and self-care can become routine too.
Your self-care routine is your own
It’s important to remember that what works for me may not necessarily work for you. We are not the same. Not two people are the same. Self-care does not have to be a grand addition to your normal routine.
Self-care can be taking a few minutes to practice breathing techniques. It can be scheduling some “you” time after your kids have gone to bed and spend 1 hour in the bathroom in your hot tub. You can include some time to reflect on your day and how you are feeling.
Creating your very own self-care routine means starting from where you are. There is absolutely no point in forcing yourself to do something, that you don’t want to do.
By planning after your energy level and only planning small things to do every day outside of work, you will have a feeling of accomplishment and victory. Feelings of victory and accomplishment are extremely important feelings to your overall mental health.
Read my article “how to make a self-care toolkit for your mental health” right here.
Other self-care ideas you can do for some “you” time
- Make sure you get enough sleep – you can read all about why sleep is important to your mental health in this article
- Staying hydrated during the day – read my article about why staying hydrated is important to your mental health
- Eating healthy, regular meals throughout the entire day
- Getting out in nature every day – you don’t even have to walk. You can simply sit on a bench and enjoy the weather and birds.
- Engage in a hobby you find interesting (drawing, reading, knitting, cooking, etc.)
- Breathing techniques/exercises
- Spend time with a family member or a close friend
- Positive affirmations
- Practicing gratitude – you can find out right here how practicing gratitude is great for your mental health
If this article has been of any help or inspiration to you, let me know in the comments, save it on Pinterest or share it with your friends…
- What’s inside my self-care toolkit
- How to make a self-care toolkit for your mental health
- How practicing gratitude is great for your mental health
- Sleep 101: how sleep affects your mental health!