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Brief Guide to Self-Care for Mental and Physical Health

Self-care is not synonymous with self-indulgence or being selfish. Self-care means taking care of ourselves so that we can live a healthy life, be well, do our job properly, and help care for other people.

Aarushi Chadha

Most mental health experts believe that self-care is essential for maintaining good mental health. Not practicing self-care can lead to an increase in our stress levels and anxiety as we continue to neglect our mental health and not work on these issues. On the other hand, practicing self-care is a way to care for our mental health, which improves our overall well-being and leads to better relationships.

Types of self-care

As we have discussed above, self-care doesn’t mean indulging in all our desires. Instead, it refers to activities that help us improve our mental, physical, social, and spiritual state. There are several types of self-care:

  1. Physical self-care: Activities such as eating nutritious food, getting a good quality sleep, and exercising regularly, along with attending healthcare appointments, and consuming prescribed medications responsibly are all part of a healthy physical self-care routine. It can also include getting messages and hair and skincare.

  2. Mental self-care: Mental self-care includes a couple of things such as staying mentally healthy by building a better relationship with yourself, seeking assistance from a mental health professional, and keeping our mind sharp by reading books, listening to music, learning new subjects, and developing new hobbies.

  3. Social self-care: Human beings are social animals. Interactions that take place online are unable to fulfill our desire for intimacy and closer connection with the people around us. Social self-care includes cultivating and maintaining close relationships and finding a balance between our obligations and our relationships.

Self-Care Plays a Vital Role in Our Life….

Self-care is important because-

  • Self-care can help us manage stress

  • Improves the quality of sleep

  • Boosts Immune System

  • Self-care helps our relationship with our loved ones

  • Self-care practices also help us gain self-compassion

Self-Care Tips to Improve Mental Health

  • Get enough sleep- Sleep deprivation can take a toll on our physical and mental health. Studies indicate that it can increase our risk of depression, anxiety, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. It is recommended that adults get at least 8 hours of sleep every night as it helps the body rest and repairs itself as well as improve concentration and focus.

  • Assess your needs- Prioritize different aspects of your life in accordance with their importance. Do not give one aspect of your life priority over another. As this can lead to imbalance and can cause stress and anxiety in your life.

  • Eat a healthy, nutritious diet- Eating a diet that is filled with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. A healthy diet helps lower the risk of mortality, especially from heart-related issues.

  • Exercise regularly- Research indicates that regularly exercising increases serotonin levels in the body significantly, which improves mood, concentration, energy levels, and focus. It is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, in whichever form possible.

  • Do not overwork yourself- Learn your boundaries and recognize when they are being overstepped by people. Do not overwork yourself by taking over other people’s responsibilities because you are worried that not doing so will hurt their feelings. It is good to realize that you have your own mental and physical limitations and that you cannot possibly make everyone happy.

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