Mental health includes social, psychological, and emotional well-being. Mental health can affect how a person relates to others, how they make choices, and how they act, think, and feel. Practicing self-care can play a major role in maintaining mental health and supporting a person’s recovery and treatment if they are struggling with a mental illness, ongoing stress, anxiety, or difficult situations.
When a person practices self-care, they are taking the time to do things that will improve their quality of life and mental health. Self-care can help a person manage their stress, can increase their energy, and can also lower their risk of illness. Even small lifestyle changes that incorporate self-care can increase a person’s mental well-being and quality of life in a major way.
The Importance of Self-Care for Your Mental Health
Self-care carries a different definition for each person. What differs for each person is how they choose to practice self-care and what types of lifestyle changes and activities can improve their emotional, mental, and physical wellness.
For some people, self-care can be as basic as going to the gym or getting a few extra hours of sleep. Small, simple things that address physical health can have a significant positive impact as well.
Practicing self-care means taking care of both your mental and physical health by addressing your emotional and psychological well-being.
Fortunately, there are endless ways to practice self-care.
What Does Mental Health Mean, and Why is it Important?
Mental health is a state of mental well-being that allows a person to handle the daily stresses of life, work well, learn well, and realize their abilities. Mental health is an essential component of health that is the foundation of a person's collective and individual abilities to build relationships and make decisions.
A person’s mental health affects how they act, feel, and think and helps them determine how to handle stress. When a person experiences good mental health they are able to cope with many daily stressors, allowing them to continue to productively engage in their everyday life.
Because self-care is the practice of caring for your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that it does, in fact, have an effect on your mental health.
People who are living with mental health issues can benefit from self-care because it relies on self-awareness. Practicing self-awareness helps a person to recognize patterns in their emotions, including situations and events that can trigger symptoms. It also helps a person to identify which tasks or activities are necessary for their mental well-being.
Self-care isn’t a cure for physical or mental illnesses, but it can help people with chronic illnesses or mental illnesses. It's been found that people who do not practice self-care are at a higher risk of symptom flare-ups that can be damaging to their physical and emotional health.
Unfortunately, many people find it difficult to practice self-care when they need it the most, due to limited mobility, pain, feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or fatigue.
Learning how to practice self-care and learning about the different types of self-care available, can improve a person’s quality of life, minimize mental illness symptoms, improve energy, and social engagement, and many more mental health benefits.
Types of Self-Care
Self-care is a very broad term for the practice that helps a person manage their chronic stress and other symptoms. Self-care doesn't have to be labor intensive, expensive, or elaborate. It’s important to simply learn to observe how a person’s routine affects their functioning and mood. Creating a list of effective self-care methods can help identify what activities can help improve a person’s energy, mood, ability to function, and reduce stress.
The type of self-care you practice will depend on your personality, energy level, and what you enjoy.
Here are some examples of self-care that can help you manage your stress, enjoy your life, and help you cope during difficult times.
Physical activity is healthy for the mind and body. It’s a type of self-care that can clear a person’s mind and boost their mood. An exercise routine can help minimize depression and anxiety symptoms. Even a short brisk walk around the neighborhood can be an effective way to take care of the body. There are also many forms of exercise to choose from, including cardio, yoga, or hiking.
Maintaining physical health is the most basic form of self-care and also the most important. By taking care of the body, a person can see a significant difference in their overall mood and mental health.
Emotional self-care means learning how to identify and become aware of what a person feels and then lean into those feelings in a manner that honors those emotions. Some people will try to suppress, deny, or ignore their emotions, but those feelings will come out eventually. It’s important to take the time to acknowledge emotions, express feelings, and accept those feelings. Once you begin emotional self-care practices, you can identify patterns and triggers of certain emotional responses and emotions. Having a safe and healthy self-care routine can help a person express and release emotions. Whether it’s going for a walk, taking a hot bath, practicing meditation, positive affirmations, or speaking with a therapist, partner, or close friend, a pampering activity can have a major positive impact on a person's emotional wellness.
Spiritual self-care involves the action a person takes to deepen their connection with their higher self. Practicing spiritual self-care can lead to greater inner peace, allowing a person to live in alignment with their core values and identify who they truly are.
Spiritual self-care can involve meditating, helping others, keeping a journal, practicing gratitude by focusing on positive things, spending time outdoors, attending a religious service, treating yourself by honoring yourself and your self-worth, and knowing your value.
Contact Altaire Clinic Today to Schedule a Consult
Are you struggling with depression, anxiety, or another mental health condition? If you are, you don’t have to go through it alone. At Altaire Clinic, our compassionate medical professionals are dedicated to helping you discover how to enjoy life again, find real solutions, and teach you the importance of self-care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with an experienced medical professional.