Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, increase happiness, and more. It can help you adapt to changes, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks. In a national survey, Americans cited the benefits of self-care as enhanced self-confidence (64%), increased productivity (67%), and happiness (71%). From a physical health perspective, self-care reduces heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Below are some tips to help you get started with self-care:
Adding frequent but brief phone chats to your life will make you feel happier and more connected to others.
Abdominal breathing controls the nervous system and encourages the body to relax, bringing about a range of health benefits.
Sufficient sleep, especially REM sleep, facilitates the brain’s processing of emotional information. During sleep it appears that a lack of sleep is especially harmful to the consolidation of positive emotional content. This can influence mood and emotional reactivity.
1) Increase bright light exposure during the day
2) Reduce blue light exposure in the evening
3) Don’t consume caffeine late in the day
4) Reduce irregular or long daytime naps
5) Try to sleep and wake at consistent times
6) Take a melatonin supplement
7) Don’t drink alcohol
8) Adjust bedroom temperature to 70F 20C
9) Don’t eat late in the evening
10) Relax and clear your mind in the evening
11) Take a relaxing bath or shower
12) Don’t drink any liquids before bed
13) Exercise regularly but not before bedtime
14) red light stimulates the production of melatonin
Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your health. Small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at once.
An oldie but a goody, taking the stairs instead of an escalator or lift, is great for working for the major muscle groups in the legs and glutes. It might not seem like the most fun option for a workout, but you can fit a surprising amount of activity into every day by taking the stairs whenever they are an option.
Did you know that getting your house and yard in tip-top shape can also benefit your body? You don’t need to choose between your household to-do list and heading out for exercise; pick a job and get moving!
Dog owners enjoy numerous health and social benefits by walking their dogs a few times a week. Benefits include improved cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, stronger muscles and bones (built up by walking regularly), and decreased stress. A regular walk is vitally important for your pet’s health too.
One 2020 study showed that regularly practicing gratitude can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. An older study from 2003 noted that gratitude was linked to improved mood.
Practicing gratitude fosters positive feelings and can contribute to a sense of well-being when done regularly.
Science shows that waiting makes people happier. That’s because anticipating something beneficial, new, or surprising is coming your way makes individuals feel good about themselves. It increases feelings of gratefulness and joy. Patience is a life skill. So it takes practice. Start with 30 seconds and work your way up to minutes with simple activities like:
You are sitting in a quiet room, doing nothing when you want to do something else.
Pouring a drink you like and then waiting to drink it or choosing the long line at the store
To boost your mental health, focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Dark green leafy vegetables, in particular, are brain-protective. Nuts, seeds, and legumes, such as beans and lentils, are also excellent brain foods.
According to the American Psychological Association, gut bacteria produce an array of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate physiological and mental processes, including mood. For example, 95 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin, a mood stabilizer, is produced by gut bacteria. Stress is thought to suppress beneficial gut bacteria.
Here are the top three foods to incorporate into a healthy mental diet:
— such as brown rice and starchy vegetables can give you energy. Quinoa, millet, beets, and sweet potatoes have more nutritional value and will keep you satisfied longer than the simple carbohydrates found in sugar and candy.
— also lend energy that allows your body to think and react quickly. Good protein sources include chicken, meat, fish, eggs, soybeans, nuts, and seeds.
— are crucial for the proper function of your brain and nervous system. You can find them in fish, meat, eggs, nuts, and flaxseeds.
Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more.
You must schedule it like anything else to succeed with your self-care routine. Prioritize yourself. Still don’t feel like you can spare the time? Try these tips:
Go for a walk in the evening after dinner. Turn off the radio during your commute home so you can think. Read a book you’ve wanted to read while waiting in the doctor’s office. Squeeze in the moments, and your relaxation and self-care will increase considerably.
While sleep is important, if you are finding that you are not getting enough “me time,” you may benefit from waking up a few minutes earlier to have a quiet moment to yourself. But don’t shortchange yourself, either! Set the alarm to tell you to go to bed all that much earlier in the evenings.
Taking care of ourselves means recognizing when we can’t do it all. Ask your coworker to take on the part of a big project. Hire a babysitter so you can get that massage you’ve been wanting. Splurge on that housekeeper so you can spend your weekends with your family. Do whatever you need to take better care of yourself.
One of the greatest acts of self-compassion is being able to release your past respectfully and lovingly. In letting go of past hurt and negativity, you show yourself the love and respect you truly deserve.
Mental health issues affect everyone differently. However, there are many things you can do to help support a loved one going through difficult times. Find out tips you can learn to prepare yourself so you can help someone you love.
Each year, some mental health issue affects 20% of Americans. It can be serious and debilitating. In addition, Healthcare can be costly, especially for those without health insurance. This section provides resources to seek affordable healthcare providers or local community health clinics for help.