Four Invaluable Self-Care Tips for Good Mental Health
Right now, America is facing a massive public health crisis: the extreme psychological toll caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. More and more people are developing significant mental illness symptoms, and few are getting the tools they need to cope with them. The shared stress of navigating a pandemic paired with the sudden loss of social safety nets has put a massive weight on everyone’s shoulders.
Moreover, stigma, cost, and lack of access prevent people from getting the support they need. We've compiled a list of self-care ideas and mental health tips to empower you to live your best life and reach the healthiest emotional state possible. These easy self-care tips can help boost your emotional health and help you reach stability throughout the pandemic and beyond.
1. Seek Counselling
We want to say this right off the bat: You don’t have to do this alone. Mental health is a medical issue. It deserves medical care, especially if you are struggling to cope with everyday life. However, many people hesitate to seek mental health care because it can be prohibitively expensive. If you’re in this boat, start by checking your insurance plan. Most plans will offer some form of coverage for mental health care. For example, Medicare Part B typically covers part or all of the costs of therapy sessions.
If you’re employed, you should also consider reaching out to HR and seeing if your company offers any mental health benefits. Many companies will cover the cost of several sessions to get you started. This may not seem like much but remember: You don’t necessarily need a ton of in-person therapy to learn to manage. Even just a few sessions could be enough to help you build up the coping tools you need to regain emotional stability.
2. Create a Self-Care Plan
Right now, many people feel like so much of life is out of their control. Our options are more limited now than ever before, and life can feel like it’s getting away from you during these — forgive the phrase — uncertain times. However, you can create stability for yourself by building and sticking with daily self-care habits.
This is especially important if you’ve been working from home since the start of the pandemic. Working in a store or office necessitates routine since you have to get up, get ready, and get out the door at a bare minimum. Working from home, however, it can be tempting to roll out of bed and sit down right at your computer.
Not only does this make getting up in the morning substantially less rewarding, but it also robs you of time to be yourself before you switch into work mode. You deserve time in the morning to get dressed, have breakfast, do some gentle exercise, and center yourself before you dive into work for the day. It can also help to insert a mid-day walk or a fun activity after work to destress and get yourself out of work mode.
3. Practice Saying No
We’ve developed a culture of constant hustle, but it’s important to remember to keep time in your schedule to rest and recharge. That’s why learning how to say no to new commitments or responsibilities can be so useful. You don’t have to say no to everything or automatically. However, take the time to consider whether or not something fits into your schedule - and is worth the sacrifice - before you take it on.
Saying no can be extremely difficult, but try not to think of it as letting others down or avoiding work. Instead, focus on the fact that you’re practicing valuing your own time. It is not your job to pour from yourself until you have nothing left to give. Taking time to refill your energy reserves is vital.
4. Focus on Physical Self-Care
Good physical health doesn’t magically remove mental health issues, but it does make you less vulnerable to them. That’s why taking care of your body with exercise, a nutritious diet, and a good night’s sleep makes such a big difference. Restlessness, malnutrition, and low energy levels all make emotional stability substantially harder to achieve and maintain. Focus on addressing these physical needs every single day to make things easier on yourself.
Another physical need we often overlook is our need for sunshine. Sunlight — or bright light therapy lamps — helps our bodies to produce and process Vitamin D. This has been linked to immune health, psychological stability, and more. Prioritize getting time outdoors every day or, if the weather doesn’t allow it, use a light therapy lamp to make up the difference. You can also try to incorporate more vitamin D-rich foods into your diet.
These self-care practices can go a long way when it comes to managing the stress, anxiety, and sadness the pandemic has caused. Remember, your emotional reactions to this time are valid, even if they’re intense. However, their validity doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work to reduce that intensity. You deserve to be able to navigate challenging times without getting overwhelmed. These self-care strategies can help make that possible.
About the Author
After spending most of his time in a corporate setting and neglecting his own self-care far too long, Brad embraced his calling and decided to become a full-time life coach. He now spends the rest of his life helping people get a better foothold on their wellness above all else.
About Carex Health Brands
Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.
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