To achieve better mental health, we’ll share with you some steps on how to practice self-care. If we look at the available data on mental health, disorders and conditions such as depression and anxiety are continually rising. Because of this, many are facing struggles with their mental well-being.
Some people turn to illicit substances so that they can self-medicate and deal with negative feelings. As a consequence, it can lead to a co-occurring disorder which is drug or alcohol addiction. Turning to illegal drugs or alcohol only worsens the situation and the suffering intensifies.
But it’s good to know that today, there are more ways in which these problems can be dealt with in a healthier manner. We have the power to nourish and improve our mental health. When we commit to self-care, the combined actions and efforts can lead to enhanced physical, emotional, and mental well-being. If you are facing any mental health condition, then know that it is possible to manage your symptoms and enjoy a better life.
With self-care, many aspects of our lives can improve. For self-care to be really effective, it must be able to address all of the different parts of your life. It includes your body, mind, and spirit. These parts are intertwined. If one is left out, the others will be affected. There are various ways that you can start to tackle all three. Let’s check them out.
Enhancing Your Mind
The way we think can affect and control all thing about ourselves. If we allow ourselves to drown in negative feelings, thoughts, dread and worry, then our whole being is going to suffer. Here are some of the best ways on how to practice self-care that can calm your mind. And by doing so, you can improve your mental well-being.
- Meditation – This practice can help in increasing your awareness of what’s at present. You can train your mind to reach a relaxed and calm state. Meditation has many variations. You can definitely find one that fits you best. Check out apps for guided meditation. It can assist you to focus on mental images so you can feel calm and serene.
- Mindfulness – Cultivating a more relaxed state of mind is possible through the practice of mindfulness. This practice is simply putting your focus on the present moment and block thoughts that are distracting. You can do this by focusing on how you inhale and exhale as you breathe. Once you can reach a state wherein you are fully relaxed, you will appreciate the beauty of being fully present.
- Deep breathing – For many of us, our days are filled with work, chores, and tasks. These seemingly never-ending to-dos on our list are sources of anxiety and stress. Try to find time every day to just be by yourself and practice deep breathing. It is a simple exercise. You only have to take slow and deep breaths so you can fill your lungs with oxygen. Inhale for five seconds, hold it for another five, and then slowly release your breath. Do it for five cycles. You will feel much of the stress draining from your body.
Nurturing Your Body
There are a number of ways on how to practice self-care for your physical well-being. Here are the top three tips on how you can nurture your body and improve your mental health in the process.
- Exercise – When you can allot time for exercise, you will be rewarded with so many benefits. Some of these benefits include better cardiovascular health, a sense of accomplishment, you’ll feel proud of yourself, improvement in your cognitive functioning, and deeper sleep. Exercising can also enhance your self-confidence. You’ll feel great whenever you finish a workout routine and especially when you reach your fitness goals.
- Get quality sleep – When you’re anxious or depressed, you may find it hard to sleep well. You think about your problems endlessly and before you know it, it’s already morning. But when you start working out, you will notice an improvement in your sleep. Also, apart from exercise, try to minimize the use of gadgets when you’re getting ready for bed. Refrain from drinking alcohol and eating a lot in the evenings.
- Healthy diet – There is a definite connection between our nutrition and our mental health. More and more health care practitioners are focusing on nutrition and its role in gaining healthy emotional stability. Try to eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like whole-grain pasta and bread, fresh produce, tuna, salmon, and nuts and seeds. Limit your consumption of sugars, processed foods, and caffeine.
Inspiring Your Soul
The third part of how to practise self-care is by also nurturing your soul. This part is when you go beyond yourself and reach out to the wider world. None of us can survive alone no matter how independent we’ve become. Let’s take a look at how we can inspire our souls.
- Write in a journal – Practicing regular writing in a journal can have tremendous benefits to your mental health. You can empty your mind of your worries through writing. Also, it’s a good way to process your emotions which can reduce the stress that you’re feeling. It’s an exciting activity that will allow you to gain new insights about yourself.
- Pursue your passions – Do you love painting or gardening? It’s time to pursue those passions. If you’ve always wanted to try your hands at art, then go and start drawing or painting. You don’t have to be good at first. Like most things, it’s a skill. Just enjoy the process. Doing activities that you love relaxes your mind and makes you happy and fulfilled.
- Take time to volunteer – the saying remains true: no man is an island. There are plenty of things that you can do by yourself. You may think that you don’t need anyone. But this is something that’s also true: we need each other. You don’t have to be rich to give back to your community. Giving your time and energy is already a big contribution. You will have the chance to meet new people and share whatever you can with others; be it your skills, knowledge, or just simply a good conversation with them.
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These are some of the ways on how to practice self-care. You will reap amazing psychological benefits. And when this happens, it will positively affect all parts of your life. Your body, mind, and soul will be nourished. You don’t have to turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with your negative feelings. There are healthier ways that you can combat the negativity and gain a better quality of life. Self-care is the best way that you can show love for yourself.