7 Reasons Why Self-Care Is Essential For Your Mental Health
Mental health and self-care go hand-in-hand. Many of us know this, but it doesn’t mean we all partake in the proper self-care strategies.
The result of ignoring self-care? You end up exhausted, mentally drained, and likely more than a little bit overwhelmed.
So let’s get this straight: self-care isn’t selfish, nor is it inconsiderate of others’ feelings.
In reality, it’s quite the opposite. You’re able to give your best when you feel your best. Self-care provides you with ample energy, making you more effective and efficient in all aspects of your life.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is defined as any activity that allows you to take care of your mental and physical well-being and health. It helps you reset, which may look different for different individuals.
Self-care practices lead to better mental health. They produce positive feelings that further enhance your confidence and self-esteem. Ultimately, it makes everything else in your life that much better- especially relationships.
When we neglect self-care, we aren’t just neglecting ourselves. We also neglect our relationships, our careers, and more. We end up emotionally spent, which may result in fights and poor performance.
Look at it this way: Think of your life as a bucket. If you’re constantly filling up others’ buckets and not your own, you’re going to run out of water. You need to take the time to fill up your own bucket, too!
What’s the Link Between Self-Care & Mental Health?
Still not convinced? We’ve got seven reasons you need to start adding a little more self-care in your life right now (and for the benefit of your mental health!).
1. Self-Care Equates to Self-Awareness
Can you view yourself from an objective lens? Are you aware of where you can improve? Self-awareness is something many people lack. But with a little more of it, life could be made that much easier.
The reason many people aren’t self-aware is that they fail to spend time getting to know themselves. Self-care gives way to activities and time to do so. It makes you realize where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
It also might make you realize when you’ve really messed up, even though you may not want to admit it.
2. Self-Care Leads to Self-Improvement
Self-care time allows you to find activities you truly enjoy without input from others. This means that, again, you can really get to know yourself and gain self-awareness. But it also means you can recognize areas for improvement and work on them.
On the other side of this, self-care activities can also help you nurture the areas you already know you need to improve. For example, the busy on-the-go type person may realize they fail to relax and reset. This may lead to being overwhelmed, and then some!
Self-care provides the time you need to learn how to relax. Sure, it might take a few tries or a few different activities to realize what works, but you’ll get there eventually.
3. Self-Care Helps Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence refers to your ability to recognize and control your emotions.
Self-care can help you sift through these complicated emotional states. It can give you time to think while also providing you with time to perform activities you enjoy.
4. Self-Care Gives You Balance
While some of us might fight it, everyone needs rest and relaxation. This ultimately promotes better mental health and well-being, spilling into every corner of your life.
Remember the bucket analogy here. You can’t continue through life at your optimal capacity with an empty bucket. Rest helps refill it. It replenishes your energy and emotional stores, allowing you to live your best life.
5. Self-Care Helps Improve Your Mood
Self-care is all about you and what you love. This means that whichever activity you choose should produce feelings of enjoyment. In turn, this should boost your mood, contributing to overall better mental health.
6. Self-Care Provides a Confidence Boost
When you perform activities you enjoy and activities you begin to master, you’ll experience a confidence and self-esteem boost. In turn, this also improves your mindset and outlook on life.
You might want to brush up on: How to Actively Practice Radical Self-Acceptance
7. Self-Care Improves Your Relationships
When you take the time to take care of yourself, this spreads into other aspects of your life.
This is especially true when it comes to your relationships. When you feel more fulfilled, you can give and nourish those meaningful relationships more.
How to Practice Self-Care
There are so many ways you can improve your mental health through self-care strategies. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Start by setting a date and time with yourself for yourself
- Practice gratitude. What can you appreciate right now? What are you thankful for?
- Start on your to-do list
- Watch your favorite show
- Go to that yoga class
- Take a warm bath and perform a bath meditation
- Paint or get creative
- Take a class and learn something new
- Go for a solo hike or walk
Treat Yourself With Some Serious Self-Care!
Feeling overwhelmed? Tired? Mentally drained? Self-care could be the key ingredient your missing.
Schedule that time. Pencil it into your calendar, and make it a weekly event. You may need it more than you think. Plus, the mental health benefits make self-care a no-brainer. So, jump on that train.
Give yourself some much-deserved me-time.
Related article: A Mindfulness Practice for Self-Love