Basic Self-Care Practices to Foster Your Mental Health 2/28/22

“Basic Self-Care Practices to Foster Your Mental Health” comes to us from a guest blogger: Eleanor Wyatt.

Taking care of your mental health is critical if you hope to lead a fulfilling life. And one of the best ways to ensure you prioritize mental health is to create a self-care routine that you abide by each day.

This routine should include habits, activities, and perspectives that foster your body, mind, and spirit. From adjusting your financial goals to starting a fitness regimen, changing your bedtime, to taking a weekend getaway, there are endless ways to improve and maintain your mental wellbeing. Here are a few ideas:

Consider Your Finances

Financial security plays a prominent role in an overall sense of safety and wellbeing in life. If you find yourself worried about finances, you may also see your depression or anxiety rise and perhaps turn to unhealthy or excessive vices to lessen the stress. If that’s the case, it’s time to take some action. The goal doesn’t necessarily have to be wealthy but to not live paycheck to paycheck, with debt lingering over your head.

It is essential to do two things:

  1. Get out of debt.
  2. Save for the rainy days.

One of the most popular ways to get out of debt is the debt snowball method, where you make minimum payments on all debts except your smallest balance owed, which you attack with not only the minimum amount but all extra cash you can throw at it.

When you pay off a debt, you roll over that minimum payment to your next debt until they are all paid off. Simultaneously, you should be saving for a three- six-month emergency fund. If you own a home and have equity in your home, you can refinance for a reduced mortgage payment or free up cash to put towards that savings fund.

Get the Help You Need 

If you find yourself barely keeping your head above water, don’t wait to get some professional help. A counselor can help you see the forest from the trees and work through any mental health struggles.

Check your insurance coverage to determine what options you have regarding receiving mental health services. For instance, Medicare Part B covers some services. Regardless of your plan, it’s essential to review your policy and know what is covered annually.

Schedule Self-Care

Life gets busy, and so quickly, we can find we have neglected to do anything we enjoy for the sake of getting things done. Do not let days pass without making time for the things you love, and that restore you.

Whether you need time with family or alone or like to go for hikes or play a game, make sure to plan for it. Schedule the activities that bring you joy by writing them into your calendar and make sure to prioritize them in your day. This is especially important during the winter months when mental health concerns are on the up and up.

Exercise Most Days    

Very few things have an impact on mental health the way exercise does. Within moments of starting physical fitness, you can notice an instant shift in mood, increased ability to concentrate, and an elevation of low self-confidence. If you exercise most days for at least 30 minutes a day, you can see long-term improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms.

Develop Good Sleep Habits 

Catching some restful ZZZs is critical to maintaining tip-top physical and mental health. Not only is sleep essential to overall recovery from the previous day, but it helps rejuvenate every aspect of your being. Make it a priority to get enough sleep and restful and uninterrupted sleep. Here are some tips to getting the restorative shut-eye you need:

  • Turn off all screens at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Design your room to be a safe, relaxing place.
  • Read a good book, assemble a puzzle, or knit before bed.
  • Stretch before hopping into bed.
  • Practice some breathing exercises and meditation techniques.

Make your mental health a priority. Don’t let things like financial worries, depression, or anxiety overpower your life. Get out of debt, save money, seek any professional help you need, and be sure to check your policy to see what your policy covers. Take bold strides by scheduling self-care, exercising, and getting some good sleep. Keep looking for other ways to bring peace to your body and mind!

Thanks for creating and sending, Eleanor! We are open to guest bloggers anytime. Submit your entires via email to: Mingie Song

May Your Day Be Sprinkled with HOPE,

Melissa Adamchik, MA, LPP, Executive Director, Tristate Trauma Network