Self-care can take many forms such as journaling, meditation, or exercise. The goal is to deliberately spend some time to nurture yourself. Research has shown that self-care offers numerous benefits. You can learn more about why self-care matters here and the barriers you face that might prevent it.
Keep reading for a few mental health benefits you may enjoy.
1. Reduces stress
Engaging in self-care activities activates your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which tunes your brain to a rejuvenating and restful mode. In this mode, the stress hormone levels decrease while feel-good hormones levels rise.
An obvious but often overlooked self-care activity is to declutter your life. This starts with your home and workspace. Be purging excess, you give yourself a more serene environment to operate in. When you are calm and grounded, you become resilient and better at coping with stressful situations. Besides, activities such as breathing exercises, journaling and meditation provide you with effective tools for coping with stress and can even help if you’re recovering from an addiction.
2. You learn to say no
Part of the reasons for a burnout is saying yes to all requests even when you mean to say no. You become irritable, moody and unfocused. A lot of people find it difficult to say no. However, the more you engage in self-care, the clearer you become about the need to protect your time and energy.
3. Improved sleep quality
Ensuring you get enough sleep is one of the key components of any self-care routine. It’s also vital to your health. However, you may find yourself tossing in bed restlessly and barely drifting off. If you suffer insomnia, your best effort to get quality sleep may go down the drain and you find even sleeping medication is not helping much. Poor sleep quality and patterns often result from high-stress levels and anxiety. Self-care helps you lower stress levels.
Create a nightly self-care routine. Go to bed the same time every night. Thirty minutes before you go to bed, stop any form of stimulation such as watching TV or being on your phone. Use that time to relax, but do not force yourself to sleep. Soon, your body and mind will learn to relax, and you will fall to sleep easily.
4. Encourages positive thinking
When you feel good about yourself and life, you are more likely to think positive thoughts. While some thought leaders encourage deliberately thinking positively to turn around how you feel when life is chaotic, it can be difficult to get to that Zenful place. In such a scenario, engaging in self-care actions may help to turn your thoughts around. Take a walk in nature, practice some breathing exercises, or go for a run. You will end up feeling much better and your thoughts will be more positive. Consistently practicing self-care will gradually cause you to gain a better perspective on life and yourself.
5. Improves productivity and motivation
Self-care gives you a deeper appreciation for the value of your time and energy. You are therefore able to prioritize activities so that you focus on what is important in your life and let go distractions. This brings your goals into sharper focus and enhances your concentration
6. Helps to prevent or manage mental health illnesses
The prevalence of mental health illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder among others in the United States and around the globe is on the rise. The trend can be attributed to the fast pace of life and high-stress levels. Mental health experts’ advise that adopting various self-care techniques can help prevent and mitigate mental health illness symptoms.
Many people treat self-care as a reward for surviving through a tough day or week. Taking care of yourself is crucial to your mental health. It should be a priority that your schedule time for and follow through with on a regular basis.
Article Written by Brad Krause from selfcaring.info
Brad Krause graduated from college in 2010 and went straight to the corporate world at the headquarters of a popular retail company. But what started as a dream job soured quickly. After four years of working 15-hour days and neglecting his health, he decided enough was enough. Through aiding a friend during a tough time, Brad discovered his real calling-helping people implement self-care practices that improve their overall wellbeing. He created SelfCaring.info to share his own knowledge and the many great resources he finds on his self-care journey.
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