Independent studies found that approximately 48.3 million Americans reported a mental health crisis each year—and these are only the diagnosed cases. Unchecked, poor mental health can wreck your life. Studies find that 90% of suicidal teens had unchecked mental health issues. Another study finds that 37% of adults with untreated mental health issues are unable to continue with their school and work. Mental health organizations find that a major way of preventing mental health issues from spiraling is self-care. Self-care nips such crises in the bud and leaves you healthier and happier. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, try these 6 steps for self-care and better mental health:
1. Regular Therapy
Stressors and sources of anxiety are part of everyone’s life. It’s impossible to sail through important life events, like the loss of a loved one, rejection and financial struggle. These events can often feel impossible to assail, but they are not, as a psychotherapist will tell you. The benefits of regularly going to a therapist have been widely studied. It has been found to be the most effective element of coping with startling life changes. If you are going through a major crisis or are even just unable to sleep or eat, the first step of self-care is visiting a therapist. Merely talking to a therapist can help you heal and cope.
2. A Proper Sleep Cycle
Thanks to our hectic schedules, we do not get restful sleep. Nearly 30% of American adults suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. The lack of sleep can seriously affect your mood and productivity, leading to poor emotional and physical health. The first step to building the habit of self-care is creating a proper sleep environment to get six to eight hours of restful sleep at night. This means you have to avoid using your phone before sleep. Also, avoid ingesting alcohol or caffeine 4 hours before sleeping. You can sleep better with pure essential oils like lavender and sandalwood, which relax your mind and body. These simple steps can go a long way for good self-care.
3. Make Time for Yourself
In our daily demanding schedules, we never seem to take time off just to stop and think for a while. A major part of self-care is spending time with yourself, be it something simple like coffee, a good book, and a blanket; or a lavish spa treatment. Even small habits like maintaining a skincare routine will keep you motivated and positive. Try to stick to organic products like the African black soap that is well known for its health benefits. Taking care of yourself means extricating yourself from the grind and unwinding in ways you love. To make a habit of this, join classes or clubs where you can undertake activities you love, like swimming or dancing.
4. Eat Well
A major part of maintaining good emotional hygiene comes from good bodily hygiene. The way to truly cleanse your insides is to eat well and healthy. Studies have found links between eating poorly—that is, less, too much or unhealthy food—and poor mental health. Conversely, extensive research has determined that loading your meals with unprocessed, antioxidant and vitamin-laden food like leafy greens and vegetables can go a long way for self-care. Vitamin D, in particular, has been found to be particularly vital for good mental health. Incorporate some natural sources of Vitamin D —cheese, eggs, and tuna, salmon—into your diet for better mental and physical health.
5. Social Media Cleanse
There are many reasons social media can be a dangerous tool. Despite its advantages of connectivity, social media can lead to cyberbullying, unrealistic portrayals of life and a personal sense of dissatisfaction. These have been found to cause overall dissatisfaction and unhappiness because we often compare our lives to the ones our friends seem to be leading. It is important to periodically go on a social media cleanse. By breaking the cycle of constant comparison with peers, you will feel less stressed and more content. With this self-care habit, you will remember that life is about living the moment, not recording it.
6. Ask for Help
Before mental health issues begin, there is an incubation period where the issues are mild. This period is crucial: if you seek help at this point itself, you are likely to be able to prevent a mental health crisis. An important part of self-care is recognizing this trigger point and acting on it. Sites like Hxbenefit help you recognize your problem. If you experience sleeplessness, negative thoughts and feel like you can’t cope up, seek help from your friends and family. Spending some time with loved ones can help you unload. You can even make self-care boxes with comforting books, blankets, and food for times of need.
We are vastly becoming a generation with poor mental health. This rising problem causes low self-esteem, poor work-life balance, and terrible emotional health. By practicing these small steps for self-care, we can go a long way in alleviating this problem and we can lead happier healthier lives.