As we near the end of Self Love month, we must tackle how self-love and self-care affect your mental health.
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Self-care is all about showing yourself some TLC and this, in turn, can help boost your mental health and keep anxiety and depression at bay.
Below are some habits that I have started incorporating in my daily routine that have proved beneficial to improving my mental health.
1. Spend less time on social media
A couple of years ago I realised that the copious amounts of time I spent on Instagram added to my anxiety and depression. I would see my peers living their best lives while I seemed stuck in a rut I couldn’t get out of. Then I uninstalled Instagram and only used Facebook for work and I noticed a huge improvement in my mental health.
While social media is great for networking, running your business and improving your professional skills, scrolling mindlessly through photos upon photos of ‘perfect’ lives is detrimental to your mental health. Thus, reduce the amount of time you spend online and watch your triggers reduce.
2. Have a gratitude journal
A friend pointed out that God has been so gracious as to grant us so many blessings and yet we spend so much time complaining about those things we don’t have. She added that if we took a few minutes every day to reflect on what we’re grateful for, we’d have a more positive outlook towards life.
So I started my gratitude journal. Every evening I write three things that I am grateful for. I have noticed that I am now more optimistic than I was before.
3. Make lists
Lists are a salvation especially if you tend to overthink. I perpetually have too many ‘tabs’ open in my brain making me constantly exhausted and nursing a never-ending headache. But when I started making lists, it helped close those tabs and helped me get better sleep because I wasn’t spending my night time trying to come up with solutions or worrying about things I needed to do the following day.
I like to write my lists in a small notebook that I carry around with me and when I don’t have it I jot them down on my phone.
Moving your body is so important for good mental health. Your body releases endorphins which make you happy. Exercise also makes you more alert and, if this is a concern of yours, can help you lose weight. Aren’t these all things that when at an optimum are good for your mental health?
I don’t have a strict exercise routine but I make sure to walk as much as possible and this is more beneficial than nothing.
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5. Eat well
A healthy diet is essential for a healthy mind. Nourishing my body with fruits and vegetables and eating healthy proteins and carbs has helped in keeping my weight in check and also boosting my mental health.
Avoid junk food and drink plenty of water. Your brain will thank you.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep is such an important aspect of good mental health. A regular sleeping schedule, going to bed and waking up at a specific time has left me feeling more energised come the morning. Lethargy is a symptom of poor mental health but when you have good quality sleep every night, you are boosting your mental health.
7. Have a support system
If you’re struggling with your mental health, you long for someone to just listen to you even if they can’t do much to help. Surround yourself with a group of friends who understand what you are going through and never get tired of hearing you out. I have a few friends to whom I go to whenever I’m feeling low. They also know to check on me especially when I go silent for too long. Having this outlet has helped me learn to speak out instead of suffering alone. I also know that no matter what happens I have someone I can rely on and who won’t judge me.
What self-care habits do you practice to boost your mental health?
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