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Here are 13 Essential Daily Self Care Practices for Your Mental Health
Practicing self-care improves your mental health in so many ways. It’s not just about taking a bubble bath, self-care is so you can reconnect with your inner self.
With so much noise in the outside world you want to make self-care a priority. Because your mental health suffers if not.
You begin to resent other people who take advantage of you. Your body gets burnt-out when it doesn’t get enough rest.
The longer you go without taking care of yourself the worse it becomes. You’ll get into the habit of not taking care of yourself which will make it harder to change.
So, let’s make a pact to start making mental health a priority ok? Fortunately it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to start seeing positive results in your journey.
When you learn to be thankful for what you already have you won’t feel a need to constantly be searching for what fulfills you.
You won’t need to buy the next new thing that comes out just to temporarily make you feel better.
Set up a time daily to practice gratitude for just a few minutes. This can be by writing down 3 things you’re grateful for, or just thinking about all the things you have in your life.
This will help you see what’s most important in your life.
Drink more water
I have a 40 ounce water bottle that I bring with me everywhere. Without it, it’s nearly impossible for me to drink enough water throughout the day.
I recommend doing something similar to this to make it easier on yourself. That’s the thing with developing new habits – they need to be easy to implement.
Get a cute water bottle that can carry half the required amount of water you need to drink every day. That way you only have to fill it up twice each day.
Drinking water keeps your body refreshed and energized, and it also helps you digest food better. And when your body is comfortable, your mind is comfortable too.
Communicate Your Needs
Get comfortable with expressing your needs to the people around you. If you need peace and quiet at home for 30 minutes, let the people in your family home.
If you need a different workspace than what you have, talk to your boss. Express your needs so you can start working at your best.
It’s not selfish and it gets rid of built up anxiety. When you ignore your needs, it can take a toll on your mental health.
I think it’s hard to set boundaries sometimes because we don’t want to come across as lazy or rude.
But, working overtime just to please your boss will begin to ruin your respect for your boss.
It’s ok to set boundaries and to say no. Especially if you stand strongly behind that no. If you’re being asked to do something that cuts into your personal time or that makes you uncomfortable, work on putting your foot down.
When you do this, you learn to put yourself first and know what your limits are.
Spend Time Outside
Always make sure to get outside for at least a few minutes a day. Unless the weather makes it unsafe to be outside.
I’m guessing that most days where you live, the weather is calm enough for you to be able to get some sunshine.
Your body needs sunlight and your mind needs this to feel more connected to the things around you. If you have anxiety and don’t like going outside, open up a window in your home and sit next to it for a few minutes.
Clutter can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. When I let my clean laundry pile up, I get so overwhelmed that I just don’t want to ever fold it.
Work on staying organized daily. If you have dishes, wash them right away and put them in the dishwasher.
If you have dry laundry, get into the habit of folding them right when the buzzer goes off.
Staying on top of the things around your house will give you a much calmer peace of mind. Organization allows you to think clearer and to focus on more important things.
Get a Work-Out in
I know working out consistently isn’t easy.
And if you struggle with anxiety or depression then you might think it’s impossible to work out at all. But, it doesn’t have to be.
It just starts with doing it 5 to 10 minutes each day. You can do this in super small sections of time and build up after a while.
Here is a quick workout you can do in the comfort of your own home and it’s only 7 minutes!
Take Frequent Breaks
Busy isn’t always better. It’s actually good to get into the habit of taking more breaks throughout the day.
It can help to set a reminder on your phone every few hours to get up from your desk and stretch.
Even if you are really busy throughout the day, make time for yourself. I know it’s not always the easiest thing in the world.
But, everything you’re working hard for right now is to have a better quality of life in the future. And one way to do that is by making your mental health a priority so you can be mentally strong enough to push through anything.
Eating “healthy” means different things to different people. I think as long as you are happy with yourself and your body is able to do what it needs to do, that’s considered healthy.
If that means eating a piece of chocolate after dinner every night, then do it. Eating healthy isn’t always about fruits and veggies.
It’s about your sanity and what makes you feel good, and finding a balance between that and fueling your body properly.
As a form of self-care, try to find the balance between the two. If you had oatmeal with fruit for breakfast and a salad for lunch, indulge a little and have some pasta for dinner.
Treat yourself and enjoy your life, while also being mindful of what you put into your body. Try not to make it super complicated.
Get Some Sleep
Sleep plays a huge role in your mental health.
Unfortunately anxiety can make it impossible to get a good night’s rest sometimes.
But, if you’re struggling in the sleep department I’d suggest making this your number one priority.
Set up a sleep schedule and reduce caffeine before you go to bed. Shut off all electronics and calm your mind down an hour before bedtime.
You can even read a book to help distract yourself from your thoughts, as long as it doesn’t keep you from going to sleep.
Set up a Morning & Night Routine
Morning and night routines can change your life, seriously. I used to wake up and immediately reach for my phone. And would get stressed out when I’d see an email from a client who needed an immediate response.
The reality is, that client can wait. And the mornings are your time to enjoy peacefully. You don’t have to start the day the moment your eyes open.
And the same thing goes with night time. You can wake up an hour earlier and get ready for bed an hour earlier, so you can have time for yourself.
If you don’t want to wake up any earlier than you have to, then try to take just 5 minutes each morning to write some things you’re grateful for and what you’re looking forward to that day.
Related article: morning and night routine
I love coffee more than most people, but I know it can cause anxiety and make you feel shaky throughout the day.
It can also make it more difficult to fall asleep. I personally can only have one cup of coffee early in the morning or else it’ll take a few hours to fall asleep.
Try to restrict your caffeine intake to only in the morning, and maybe 2 cups max. If you’re really into caffeine you might gradually want to reduce the amount of drinks you have throughout the day.
Caffeine withdrawal is no fun and can mess with your mentality too, so take it slow and reduce your intake over time.
Fulfill Your Needs
Each and every day do at least one thing for yourself. No this isn’t selfish and it doesn’t make you a bad person.
Spend some time alone, order in take out, dance along to your favorite music, watch a guilty pleasure TV show.
Fulfill your own needs before anyone else’s. And remember, do this often! You matter and your mental health matters.
It’s only when you take care of yourself and fill up your own cup that you can start to take care of others.
Just like the flight attendant says on any flight you’ve ever flown “make sure to put on your mask before your children’s.”
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