The Amazing Benefits of Self-Care to Mental Health and How to Practice It
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
It makes up any activity that you engage yourself in to take care of your well-being and personal needs. It is actually a very simple concept, but it is more than often overlooked or neglected. Sometimes, we’d rather spend our time working to make a living and taking care of other people’s needs. Sometimes we put the people we want to please on top of our list of priorities, and never include ourselves on it.
WHAT IS NOT SELF-CARE?
Self-care is not only about considering our needs. Instead, it is about knowing what we need to do to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others. You’ve heard it said, “You cannot give what you do not have.”
BENEFITS OF SELF-CARE
Here are numerous benefits of self-care for mental health:
With that, you can focus more on the few and more essential things that you have on your plate, resulting in increased and better productivity. And having a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small, can help you feel better mentally and emotionally.
With increased self-knowledge, you start to care less about what other people think about you. You will feel good about yourself, which is one of the biggest things you can do for your mental health.
Self-Care Strategies That Work
Enjoy a Warm Bath: Get out the bubbles, oils, candles, and scented soaps, and soak while sipping that glass of wine.
Treat Your Hair: While you’re soaking in the tub, treat your hair to deep conditioning, and let it work as you relax.
Exfoliate: Use a gentle clay mask to draw impurities out of your skin and the stress out of your system.
Show Your Feet Some TLC: Once your feet are soft enough from the soaking, take a pumice stone to slough off dead skin. Finish with rich foot cream, and maybe even a polish.
Nourish Your Skin: Bring back your healthy, youthful skin by lathering rich, luxurious creams. Your skin will smell incredible and feel smooth, especially when you put them after exfoliating your skin in the tub.
Care for Your Nails: Your nails are among the most beat-up parts of your body from all your busyness. Show your nails some care by filing and buffing and topping it with nail polish.
Get a Massage: A massage is probably one of the nicest self-care strategies there is. If getting regular massages with a professional is not possible, ask your partner to do it for you, or use an electronic massager.
Besides pampering yourself, there are more substantial forms of self-care, including choosing a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy, working out regularly, and getting enough sleep are all critical for long-term health and stress management.
HOW THERAPY CAN HELP WITH SELF-CARE
Therapy can often reveal the reason why people fail to care for themselves. If it’s because of depression, therapy can help relieve symptoms of depression and improve one’s mood, which will generally lead to one being able to care for his or her self-care needs again.
Neglecting self-care due to a desire to please or care for others, which might be evident in people who are in codependent relationships or overly demanding families, can indicate challenges in self-image and/or with setting boundaries. Therapy can help a person develop a healthier self-image and be able to turn down those who ask for too much.
If you are having a hard time taking care of your needs or feeling enormous pressure to please other people while neglecting yourself, we recommend seeking professional help. Get in touch with Phyllis Tonkin, LCSW, at 713-668-6666, 713-206-5156, or [email protected].
Self-care is not a one-day activity. It is a process that you need to do until it becomes a habit. Self-care is not being selfish but being wise. Taking care of yourself is the start of opening your doors to loving others, and valuing yourself will make you see and appreciate others’ value.