Taking control of your mental wellness and all round well being can often get smothered underneath the demands of life. Through the pressure of work and managing a home, it’s easy to forget to make time for your own self-care.
In a time when our psychological robustness is constantly under a microscope, it’s vital that you take the necessary steps to ensure you prioritize your mental health.
Beyond the status quo of therapy and medication, there are many natural, healthy habits you can practice on a daily basis. To help you build strong foundations for your mental well being, we’ve put together six self-care habits that you can practice every day.
1. Wake Up Without Social Media
As soon as you open your eyes, what’s the first thing you do in the morning? Check your phone? Before even having a thought, you probably find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media.
It’s important to attack the day in the best way possible. Getting lost in your technology leaves you stagnated—almost zombie-like—when you could be doing more productive activities.
In a recent survey conducted at San Francisco State University Dr. Erik Peper, a professor of health education, and Dr. Richard Harvey, an associate professor of health, found that participants with a higher smartphone dependency were more likely to experience anxiety, loneliness and depression.
The research highlights the physiological benefits of reducing our time spent using technology, including seeing a reduction in stress and anxiety.
It’s advised to refrain from using technology one hour before you go to bed. This includes televisions, smartphones, tablets and laptops. Giving your mind the opportunity to unwind will increase your chances of getting a better night’s sleep.
2. Practice Meditation And Positive Affirmations
Over the last decade, the practice of meditation has become increasingly popular. Once seen as an activity only suited to hippies, mediation is now rightly recognized as a simple and practical way to manage our mental health.
Meditation encourages you to move away from intrusive thoughts that may be playing on your mind. By connecting to your breath, you center your body and mind—becoming relieved of stress and anxiety.
You don’t need to sit in a candlelit room for an hour to practice meditation. Setting aside as little as five minutes a day in a quiet space has shown to improve mental well being.
To coincide with your meditation, get used to verbalizing positive affirmations. Something as simple as “I completely love and respect myself” will reinforce your self-worth and help you work towards building your confidence.
Unlike keeping a daily diary of your activities, journaling gives you the opportunity to get to the center of your thoughts and feelings.
Constant ruminating can be so overbearing that we become anxious and depressed. By putting your thoughts and feelings onto paper, you’re taking them out of your mind and giving them validation.
Journaling helps to give us clarity on life events. It’s a way of breaking things down, understanding and gaining acceptance.
Whether you’re going through a breakup, have an ever-growing workload or dealing with past trauma, journaling enables you to take ownership of the psychological impact it’s having on you.
For best results, make time to journal early in the morning – allowing the practice to act as an anchor for the day ahead.
4. Design And Live Your Perfect Day
Sit down for 5-10 minutes and think about what your perfect day would look like.
Consider the simple things such as cooking your favorite meal, having a conversation with a loved one and going for a swim in your local pool.
Design a day that is both achievable and filled with activities that have a positive impact on the way you think and feel.
Life is extremely challenging and we can go weeks, months, even years without having a day removed of negativity.
That’s not always because we aren’t able to, but rather because we don’t consciously set time to spend a day only doing the things we love.
Make space for you and only you. Remember you’re important.
5. Challenge Yourself
It’s good to remember stress isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. When you put yourself in a challenging situation, stress is there to help protect you from potential harm.
It doesn’t, however, always mean we shouldn’t push through the stress barrier and see the activity through.
The more you put yourself in challenging scenarios, the more resilient you become in handling your stress levels.
Doing things like public speaking, having a conversation with a stranger, or completing a task you were putting off, will help you build your self-esteem.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable – your mental well being will benefit from it.
6. Healthy Diet And Exercise
Being told to have a healthy diet and to exercise regularly won’t be something you haven’t heard before. However, we put this on the list as a timely reminder to stay consistent. Eating well and exercising shouldn’t come in phases—it should be a permanent fixture in your lifestyle.
Exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day will improve the way you feel about yourself. Exercise helps our brain release Dopamine—the feel-good chemical.
Combine that with a healthy balanced diet and you’re likely to feel the best version of yourself – all day every day.
Having a balanced state of mind involves a certain amount of work. These six simple steps should not be too much of challenge and investing time into them will only give you great rewards.
Take time to show just how much you value yourself. Write down a schedule that incorporates these six steps and do your best to stick to it.
It’s important to care—more so—it’s important to self-care