Mental self-care relates to any activities or routines that can help individuals maintain good mental health and support their well-being. Like any form of self-care, this can take shape in a variety of ways. Some types of mental self-care include mindfulness, self-reflection, setting boundaries, seeking support, engaging in hobbies and interests, getting enough sleep, and practicing self-care rituals routinely.
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with curiosity and without judgment. It can help promote mental self-care through reduced stress, improved concentration, increased self-awareness, and enhanced emotional regulation.
Mindfulness practice can promote overall well-being by increasing positive emotions, such as happiness and gratitude. It can also aid in developing self-compassion by helping create a kind and non-judgmental attitude towards yourself.
Overall, mindfulness practice can help to develop a greater sense of self-awareness and self-compassion, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall mental well-being.
Self-reflection is taking the time to look inward to examine your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It can help promote mental self-care through increased self-awareness. Increased self-awareness can help people better understand themselves and their needs, which can lead to improved mental well-being. It also helps you to identify negative thought patterns such as self-criticism. By recognizing these patterns, you can develop strategies, and work towards managing them. This, in turn can lead to personal growth, which can snowball into increased self-esteem and confidence!
Learning to set healthy boundaries with others can help reduce stress and increase self-esteem. However, this is not an easy task. Many people have difficulty with setting boundaries, and are inherently “people pleasers”, especially when it comes to their relationships with close friends and loved ones. It is important to remain aware of this trait, and to remind yourself that in order to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself first. It is not unreasonable adopt this mindset. Ultimately, you are the closest person in your own life, and no one can take care of you the way you can!
Engaging in hobbies and interests:
Engaging in activities that bring joy and pleasure can help reduce stress and increase overall well-being. Having and taking part in hobbies or interests can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. It provides a sense of pleasure and satisfaction, which can help boost your mood and reduce stress. Hobbies are a healthy distraction from the stresses of everyday life. By focusing on an activity that you enjoy, you can shift your attention away from your worries and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Getting enough sleep:
Getting enough restful sleep is essential for good mental health. Sleep provides the brain and body with the necessary time to rest, restore, and repair. Lack of sleep can lead to increased irritability, anxiety, and depression, while getting adequate sleep can help improve your overall mood. Getting enough sleep can also help improve concentration, problem-solving abilities, and creativity.
Adequate sleep also aids in boosting your immune system, and prevents illness. This is good for your mental health and also for your physical health. Sleep is full body care!
Practicing self-care rituals:
Regular self-care rituals is really putting all of these previous pieces, or the ones you have found to work for you, together. It is taking the time to remind yourself that you are worth the effort. These rituals are a clear sign that you are ensuring that your self esteem, and overall well-being, are being made a priority. They also create a sense of routine and structure in your daily life. This can be especially helpful for those who struggle with mental health conditions, as it can provide a sense of stability and predictability.
No matter where you are at with your self-care journey, please remember that it IS a journey. There are no road maps or rules. What is most important is that you find what works for you. If you find yourself being stressed out by a process you’ve put in place, change it! If it isn’t serving you in the moment, find something else that will. You deserve it!