Self-care has been a popular trending topic in the media. While emphasis may sometimes be placed more on appearances, the truth is that mental health plays a huge role as well in someone’s feelings of self-acceptance and self-worth. That is because finding joy in things can be difficult when a person is consumed with negative feelings and destructive thoughts about themselves and their surroundings. Because of this, it is important that just like the health of the human body, the health of the mind is prioritized as well. In order to do that, engaging the following practices regularly can help lay a foundation for good mental health.
1. Strengthen Social Ties
Strong social bonds are often linked with better overall health. While some may believe that those with a strong support system may have better access and resources for keeping healthy and happy, some studies show that positive chemical reactions that occur in the brain when subjects had someone to support them. Overall, having a support system is linked with lower levels of stress which can lead to other harmful physiological effects. Whether those supporting individuals are friends, family members, or even pets they are scientifically worth having around. Conversely, when relationships are toxic and irreparable, it may be time to re-evaluate how mental health is affected and whether those relationships are even worth preserving.
2. Do a good deed
Doing charity work doesn’t only benefit the person on the receiving end. Those who help others may feel an increased sense of purpose and self-worth which are feelings that are important to overall mental health. Volunteer work, donations to worthy causes, or even simply spreading kindness through everyday actions and encouraging words are just some things that can help.
3. Limit Alcohol Intake
Alcohol, especially when consumed in excess, has been linked with numerous negative side effects, including addiction and mental illness, and can affect mood and cognitive functions. If alcohol use is out of control, professional help may be needed to get back on track. Some people report that factors such as peer/social pressure or lack of skills to cope with anger, stress, or trauma can lead to overconsumption. This is why alcohol and use and mental illness are often described as part of a vicious cycle. Because of this, it is important to make an effort to limit intake and drink responsibly.
4. Exercise and Eat Right
Nutrition and exercise play an important role, not only for the body but also the mind. The correct foods can provide brain-friendly nutrients and vitamins that improve energy and mood. Exercise is also proven to be an effective stress-reliever and even releases endorphins, a feel-good hormone, into the brain.
5. Make Personal Needs a Priority When Needed
Any type of self-care requires that someone prioritizes their own needs. While it can be kind and helpful to help others, it is important to remember that everyone is equally important. Individuals who carve out time to relax and recharge, get help to refocus on important goals, or seek help when feeling overwhelmed are doing what everyone should. It is not necessary to seek approval from others or justify fulfilling these needs because a strong mind contributes to a happy, healthy life.