Spending time thinking about your current mental health condition and considering self-care tips can help you make a huge difference in your daily life. Sometimes people forget how important it is to take care of your physical and emotional health.
However, learning how to stay healthy, reduce stress, overcome anxiety, or plan your regular routine will help you achieve your life goals. The majority of happy people know how to identify the source of stress during tough times and focus on growth.
As a result, they easily manage to achieve life satisfaction. Considering this, mental health professionals believe that healthy practices and lifestyle changes help both men and women become resilient.
In this article, we will provide advice about self-care routines, discuss the benefits of having regular self-care time, and review the most optimal self-care practices for all generations.
In the end, we’ll also see the most common reasons why people fail to take care of their mental health condition.
Why is Self-care Important? 15 Benefits of Self-care
Taking care of yourself is an important part of having a healthy and active lifestyle, which eventually leads to better psychological well-being and an increased quality of life. In fact, frequent self-care contributes to less stress and benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Sometimes people think it’s hard to think about taking care of their body weight, engaging in physical activity, or broadening their social connections. However, including some additional steps in your self-care routine and making your daily activities more diverse actually makes a key difference.
Engaging in self-care doesn’t mean that you need to spend all the time you have on yourself. It just means that you’ll become more aware of your daily activities, you’ll better manage your time, include some healthy steps in your life, such as nutritious options for food, practice body care, take part in healthy leisure activities like having a hot bath, etc.
As a result, your stress hormones will likely reduce and you’ll feel better in all areas of your life, whether it’s work, family, or social relationships. Here is the list of 15 key benefits of self-care.
Each of these benefits is connected with one another and leads to overall subjective and psychological well-being.
15 Benefits of a Self-care
- Self-care can increase your self-esteem.
- Self-care improves your physical health.
- Self-care helps you control stress levels by reducing muscle tension and lowering cortisol in your blood.
- Self-care leads to improved social relationships and as a result, to better community ties.
- Self-care reduces anxiety.
- Self-care helps you cope with mental health issues.
- Self-care makes engaging in a healthy and active lifestyle more desirable.
- Self-care helps you learn how to deal with adversities.
- Self-care leads to better coping mechanisms.
- Self-care helps you focus on your responsibilities and goals.
- Self-care improves the quality of sleep.
- Self-care leads to healthier intimate relationships and improves sex life.
- Self-care leads to increased comfort levels in your daily life.
- Self-care supports a healthier outlook.
- Self-care reduces job stress and leads to better performance in the workplace.
How Do You Engage in Self-Care?
It’s hard to engage in proper self-care routines in modern, fast-paced everyday life. However, it’s obvious that taking care of our mental and physical health has plenty of benefits for our quality of life.
In fact, the latest studies show that engaging in self-care improves psychological well-being and lowers the probability of major health issues (Riegel et al., 2021). Nowadays, mental health professionals suggest plenty of techniques to engage in self-care, achieve mental health success, and focus on growth.
Here are some of the ways to get started with your self-care routine:
- Extend your hours of sleep
- Focus on your sex life
- Engage in daily exercise
- Reduce screen time
- Set your mealtime
- Take a nature break
Extend your hours of sleep
According to Harvard Medical School, the majority of adults need between 7.5 and 8.5 hours of sleep per 24-hour period in order to function properly.
If you’re sleeping less, it means your body and mind are experiencing sleep deprivation. Controlling your nightly routine is the first step to planning a proper self-care routine.
Focus on your sex life
Having an optimal libido level is key to psychological well-being for both men and women. Try to focus on your sex drive and find the right balance.
Remember that taking care of your sex life is no longer taboo. Be aware of your impulses and avoid having either too low or too high levels of libido.
Engage in daily exercise
Including aerobic exercise in your daily routine will help you reduce anxiety and overcome stress. You might not be able to go to the gym every day, but fitness isn’t the only form of exercise. You can always find time for brief exercises such as walking, jogging, or doing yoga.
Reduce screen time
Although sitting in front of computers is an integral part of our everyday lives, controlling your screen time will help you overcome fatigue and feel better.
Try to track your screen time and avoid spending time in front of the screen and set time before bed 30 minutes earlier to avoid using electronic devices.
Set your mealtime
Having meals at the same time every day will help you strengthen your daily routine and develop healthy habits. As studies show, the best time for dinner is between 6 pm and 6.30 pm, while it’s better to have lunch between 12.30 pm and 1 pm.
Take a nature break
Spending some time outside is another proven way that can make a person happy. Just find beautiful views of nature around your house and include taking walks in nature as a part of your routine.
Studies prove that benefits from nature help people identify the source of stress and overcome mental health issues.
Self-Care for all Generation
Self-care increases well-being regardless of age. Sometimes adults believe that taking care of their children must be a priority. Also, men who have families in many countries try to help women practice self-care and forget about their own interests.
And the opinion that teenagers don’t take care of themselves is another stereotype. Generally, studies prove that there are gender differences in self-care and that men perform better self-care than women (Mei et al., 2019).
Besides, research also shows that there is a difference in self-care practices depending on age, but it has a positive effect on people of all ages (Wagner & Wagner, 2003).
Self-care for Women
Based on the study done in Minneapolis in 2020, as much as 80% of women recognize the importance of self-care. However, surprisingly, only a few of them take care of themselves as they prefer to care for others.
As a Thymes Limited telephone survey shows, some of the reasons women don’t engage in self-care are that married women prefer to spend time on their children, they believe that self-care is too selfish, or they don’t have time for self-nurturing.
Self-care for Men
Decades ago self-care practices such as practicing meditation, having a skin routine, or controlling body weight were considered shameful for men. But these stereotypes are no longer present in modern society and self-care for men is on the rise.
Some of the general reasons why men enjoy practicing self-care are its positive effects on their physical health. They often engage in deep breathing practices or try to make their meditation options more diverse by spending time outdoors.
While they focus on physical effects, women are keener on the emotional influences of self-care.
Self-care for Teenage Girl
Teenage girls often find it hard to get their lives on track and develop healthy habits. However, self-care is especially important for teenagers as they are vulnerable to taking part in unhealthy activities and harming their physical or mental health.
The most common practice of self-care among teenage girls is spending time getting fit, losing weight, and having perfect body figures. However, too much focus on weight sometimes leads to eating disorders and other mental health issues.
Therefore, it’s important to find a great balance to feel happy and healthy in their bodies and minds.
Self-care for Students
High school and college students often tend to be among unhappy people who forget to practice self-care. The reason is that they pay too much attention to their achievements or social status. As a result, they often end up with an unhealthy lifestyle.
Doing yoga, meditating, practicing deep breathing during times of exhaustion, and regularly having lunch at school are some of the great ways for students to engage in self-care.
Self-care for Kids
The majority of parents try to take care of their kids and meet their basic needs and requirements. However, teaching them to take care of themselves is no less important.
The first step in this process is to explain the significance of self-care and raise awareness about self-care practices among kids. As a result, healthy activities like exercising or eating natural food will become rewarding for them.
5 Self-Care Tips for How to Deal with Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental health problem in the US. In fact, 18.1% of the population (40 million people) is affected by anxiety disorders every year.
Considering that self-care reduces stress and helps people develop effective coping strategies, it’s important to set a proper self-care routine in difficult situations. Let’s discuss some ways that will help you deal with your anxiety and increase your quality of life.
Relaxing your muscles and practicing breathing exercises is a great way to overcome anxiety. Relaxation techniques are part of various types of therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies (MBCT).
Relaxation techniques slow down your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and help you reduce muscle tension. Consequently, people can cope with anxiety more effectively.
People often think that self-help books aren’t really helpful in dealing with mental health issues or social situations. However, books that are based on empirical research actually make a difference.
Reading self-care books that are based on CBT or other commonly used therapies is a great way to reduce anxiety. According to the National Institutes of Health, CBT self-care books improved the quality of life in patients who had anxiety disorders.
Meditation is a long-term strategy to cope with anxiety as it helps people to clear their minds and focus on their psychological well-being. Today there are a lot of online lessons that help you understand meditation techniques.
As a result, you’ll become aware of your thoughts and evaluate your actions more objectively which will lead to reduced anxiety.
In order to reduce anxiety, you shouldn’t focus only on your mind. In fact, keeping your body healthy is no less important. Getting up early and taking a walk. Joking or engaging in simple aerobic exercises is a great way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and feel better about yourself.
Eat Balanced Meals
We all know that eating a healthy meal is important for our bodies. But people don’t often recognize its positive effects on our mental health. However, as studies show, women who ate healthy and well-balanced meals naturally treated anxiety and depression.
Considering this, eating healthily and avoiding non-balanced or junk food will help you cope with anxiety symptoms and improve personal care.
Self-care Tips for Work
Practicing self-care activities at work helps people to avoid stress, become more productive, and improve their job performance.
According to Barbara Markway, Ph.D., self-care is beneficial for productivity as it helps people focus on activities such as breathing exercises, aromatherapy, crafting, or taking a walk. As a result, they connect with other people, express their emotions and avoid job stress.
People who engage in self-care activities have lower levels of job-related anxiety and avoid burnout at work. Besides, intentional self-care practices improve job satisfaction and help people perform better when working in teams (Monroe et al., 2020).
Here are some tips for practicing self-care at work:
- Take a 10-minute walk from the office when you feel you’re too tired.
- Don’t forget to have a lunch break.
- Communicate with your colleagues.
- Get a standing desk and avoid sitting all the time.
- Plan your day before getting to work.
Why Do We Often Fail at Self-Care?
Even though self-care has several proven benefits for our mental and physical health, many people still fail to take care of themselves. One of the main reasons for failing at self-care is that people are not aware of its significance.
We believe that self-care doesn’t matter and think that spending time on activities that help us achieve our career goals is more important. This leads us to neglect our own health and slows down our progress.
Also, sometimes people think that self-care is necessarily selfish. Actually, self-care means self-responsibility and not selfishness. Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean that you are not thinking about others as well.
It just means that you’re aware of your own needs and requirements and try to grow personally. Another important reason for failing at self-care is that we don’t know how to take care of ourselves.
Often, we’re too tired to make healthy decisions or plan our self-care routine. However, keeping track of your self-care progress will help you avoid failure and focus on development.
That’s why you should consider all the self-care tips we provided. So, take your time, try planning healthy activities, and practice self-care from this moment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Self-care
What are 5 self-care strategies?
- Get regular exercise. Taking a 30-minute walk, doing simple exercises, running, or jogging is a great way to reduce stress and feel better about yourself.
- Eat a balanced diet. A healthy and well-balanced diet promotes good health and nutrition and protects you from a number of diseases, such as diabetes or heart diseases.
- Sleep well. A good night’s sleep is essential for performing well at work, school, or in other areas of your life.
- Take part in leisure activities. Spending time on your hobbies will help you feel happier about your everyday life.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Relaxation will help you reduce anxiety and become more aware of your needs and preferences.
How do I practice mental self-care?
In order to practice mental self-care, you need to develop a healthy and active lifestyle. Try eating healthily and including well-balanced meals in your routine. Stay hydrated throughout the day, get regular exercise, and try relaxing activities.
Mental self-care also involves communication with your loved ones, staying connected with them, practicing gratitude, and focusing on positivity.
How do you plan a perfect self-care day?
The first thing you should do to plan a perfect self-care day is to start your day with meditation or simple exercises. Take a warm bath afterward and make your daily plans.
Putting on a face mask, going for a walk in nature, and reading your favorite books at the end of the day will help you make the most of your self-care day.