Approximately 1 in 3 Canadians will be affected by some form of mental illness in their lifetime. Our mental health is an important aspect of our overall well-being. Creating habits in our lives that promote and improve our mental health is crucial in building a happier and more fulfilled life.
In today’s article, we’ll be sharing self-care tips for mental health. From habits that help us physically to practices that benefit us spiritually, we’ll be breaking down different habits from a multitude of categories. Keep reading to find out more!
16 Simple Self-Care Habits to Help With Your Mental Health
Our bodies and minds are intertwined. Sometimes the feelings we have mentally can manifest physically, and vice versa. This is why taking part in certain habits that challenge us physically may help improve our mental health.
Some ideas for physical habits to take part in include:
- Exercise – not only is exercise a great way to stay in shape and maintain a healthy weight it may also reduce depression, anxiety, and negative moods.
- Yoga – while yoga challenges us physically, it can also improve our mood and even sharpen our brain.
- Sports – although sports might be tied directly to exercise they also provide a means for social support and community within a group. Socializing can help fight feelings of loneliness and it may even sharpen cognitive skills and memory.
Living a healthy lifestyle can also help you improve your mental health. Avoiding alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes eating a well-rounded diet rich in nutrition, and drinking plenty of water are all important self-care habits in maintaining a healthy mind and body.
As humans, socializing is something very important for our well-being. Our ancestors thrived in communities and groups of people, and in today’s day and age, we do as well. Building self-care habits around socializing is a critical skill in maintaining your mental health.
We can practice self-care through social habits by:
- Setting boundaries – by creating boundaries with people you maintain self-respect, protect your self-esteem and you can enjoy healthy relationships.
- Keep in touch with people – life gets busy, and it often creates a barrier to communication with the people you love. Make sure you take time every now and then to reach out and talk to your family and friends.
- Join a community of like-minded people – finding a tribe of people with similar interests is a great way to not only get social but also have fun with the things you enjoy.
Overall, socializing is an important part of our mental health. Communicating with people face-to-face may help us deal with stress factors easily. It may also help us build certain habits that could aid us physically and mentally.
Mental self-care might be one of the most important aspects of taking care of your mental health (of course). From keeping your mind sharp to learning to observe your thoughts and live more presently. There are numerous ways you can improve your mental health with certain habits.
Some of these include:
- Spending time on your hobbies and interests – finding ways to unwind and fulfill your passions is an amazing way to destress from the business of life and work.
- Practicing gratitude and self-compassion – learning to express and think about the things you’re grateful for is a great way to improve the appreciation of your life.
- Observe and change how you talk to yourself – when we’re focused, or sometimes stressed, many of us will start to talk to ourselves, and at times, we may be negative. Understanding when you’re being negative towards yourself and learning to correct your course can help improve your mental well-being.
Whatever your beliefs are, spiritual self-care is one way we can look towards a higher purpose and think about life with a bigger picture in mind. It could be a way for people to find purpose, hope, and direction in troubling times.
- Practicing forgiveness – whether it’s forgiving yourself for mistakes you’ve made, or forgiving your loved ones. Learning that life is naturally full of pain and pleasurable moments can help you understand yourself and others. It may help you move on and heal.
- Unplug from technology and get in nature – spending time outdoors isn’t just a great way to enjoy the weather and get some physical activity. It can also be a powerful way of bringing yourself to the present moment and enjoying the natural landscape and sounds of the outdoors.
- Meditate or pray – finding time to meditate or pray can help you ground yourself. It may even be a great way to get things off your chest.
Our emotions ebb and flow through our experiences and even thoughts. While it’s normal to experience a variety of emotions in life, it’s important to know how to practice self-care and heal in a healthy and positive way when emotions do become overwhelming.
A few ways you can practice emotional self-care include:
- Positive affirmations – speaking mantras to yourself that are positive and uplifting can be a powerful way to bring your spirits up, even when things are tough.
- Journal – writing out our emotions may help us process things easier. One study saw that people who journaled saw a reduction in symptoms like anxiety and depression.
- Talk it out – just like writing about our problems can serve as a way to process our emotions, speaking with someone and talking things out may help us deal with our problems more easily.
We can’t stress the importance of self-care in mental health. Our habits and hobbies have a direct influence on our mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, and social well-being.