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​How Self-Care Benefits Your Mental Health

​How Self-Care Benefits Your Mental Health

Posted by Brad Krause - founder selfcaring.info on Apr 1st 2020

Self-care is any activity (or non-activity) that reenergizes and refreshes you. It's an action that you do where the only purpose is to make you feel better either immediately or in the long run. In an age where everyone is constantly busy and people's schedules are filled to the brim with commitments, one of the most popular suggestions to de-stress is to utilize self-care. If you could use a mental health refresher, here are some ideas to work self-care easily into your lifestyle.

Take Care of Your Gut

If you’re not feeling your best, it might be due to your eating habits. Poor diet contributes to an unhealthy gut, which means an imbalance of bacteria. Gut bacteria are essential for not just physical health, but also mental health. For example, L. helveticus and B. longum can reduce stress, improve mood, and promote relaxation. In order for these bacteria to thrive, though, you’ll need to change your diet by adding foods like sauerkraut and almonds, as well as supplements that promote better gut health.

Exercise

While it's easy to assume that exercise only benefits your physical health, some research indicates that exercising regularly benefits your mental health a great deal. Aerobic exercises such as jogging, walking, and swimming can reduce symptoms of depression. If you struggle to convince yourself to exercise regularly, consider getting a fitness tracker. Fitness trackers are great for motivation, and they also monitor your progress so you can visualize how far you've come since starting.

Get Enough Quality Sleep

Sleep Cycle explains that we need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. With busy schedules, it’s something many of us let slip. However, sleep is a must-have, and it directly affects your health.

Consistently getting enough sleep actually makes it less likely that you'll get sick, puts you at a lower risk for heart disease and diabetes, and helps you to stay at a healthy weight. It also helps reduce stress, improves your mood, encourages clear thinking, and helps with decision-making.

If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, look for simple ways to improve your sleep. You might need to install blackout shades or use a sleep mask if light is a problem, or transition from caffeinated beverages in the afternoon and evening to sipping herbal tea.

Boost Your Self-Esteem

Often the way we look can raise our confidence, so look into some beauty or styling products that can improve your self-esteem. For example, if you’re not pleased with your hair, pick up a hair straightening brush or new set of hair clippers. Electric hair clippers can make for easy grooming so you can head out in the morning looking and feeling great.

Natural Stress Remedies

While it doesn't get much more natural than sleeping and exercising, there are still more natural remedies that promote mental well-being. Meditating, for example, has been utilized for what seems like forever. It's great for clearing your mind, becoming focused on what you need to be focused on, and gives you a chance to slow down and just breathe.

Verywell Mind points out that journaling is another easy way to reduce stress. Give yourself 15 minutes every day either in the morning or in the evening to write down your thoughts. You'll feel calmer and more clarified in no time.

Another option you can experiment with is aromatherapy. Scent can be a powerful emotional trigger, and incorporating it into your days is easy-breezy. You can diffuse scents, apply them to your skin, or even wear them in jewelry. Different oils make you feel different things, so try out a few to see what works for you.

It may seem like self-care is pretty involved, but the truth is that you're probably already doing a lot of self-care already. Things like maintaining good hygiene, keeping your home clean, and spending the night in with your favorite movie are all acts of self-love. Consider taking things up a notch by ensuring you’re getting enough sleep, exercising, and engaging in other natural mood boosters. By being mindful of the things you're doing that promote your mental health, and you'll find it's easy to incorporate a few more. Your future self will thank you!

Guest Post - Brad Krause, Blogger - selfcare.info.blog