Good Mental Health Starts With Self-Care
If you are like many people, you probably have a long list of goals and achievements you want to reach this week, this month and this year. No matter how your progress is going so far, one thing is for sure: You won’t reach your goals without taking care of yourself. You may be a self-described “go-getter”, but if you don’t practice some self-care along the way, you’ll end up burning out quickly. Here are a few tips on how to keep yourself in good health by making use of a few self-care principles.
Get Some Sleep
We all know we need more sleep, but understanding how sleep affects your body or how much you need can have positive impacts on your health. If you’re feeling run down, irritable or not able to accomplish what you need to get done, try setting everything aside and getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night–just for a week. Some examples might be: Cutting out evening television, staying off Social Media, or taking an extra thirty-minutes to soak in a hot bath, read a book or magazine, meditate, pray, or journal. Imagine how refreshed you might feel if you weren’t always fatigued? I am not talking about unrealistic expectations here, I’m talking about setting boundaries. Sure, you may not be able to achieve that goal every night for an extended period of time, but try it short-term to give your body a break. You might be amazed at how much your outlook on life can improve with just a few extra hours of sleep each week.
“Stress” is a word we use to describe the physical and chemical reactions that take place when your body starts to respond to the mental and physical demands that life is placing on you. These can be long- or short-term stressors, but learning how to manage that stress can go a long way toward helping you accomplish even the most difficult of circumstances.
One quick tip: Get a piece of paper and write down a list of the things that are currently stressing you out. Designate which ones you can and cannot control. For the ones, you can control, come up with a couple of quick strategies to deal with them. For the ones you cannot control, remember that while you may not be able to control the stressor, you can control your attitude toward them. Play out a couple of scenarios in your mind where you respond differently than you normally would, and see if your new reactions help reduce your stress.
Keep in mind the importance of reducing that work-related stress. If you are under chronic (long-term) stress at work, this can cause you to eventually turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like stress eating or overconsuming alcohol. Finding beneficial ways to mitigate stress in the workplace does not have to be complicated. Strategies such as going on walks or exercising during lunch, getting peer support, and taking a break when you get overwhelmed, can help you deal with the stress in a healthier way.
You get vacation and personal days at work for a reason. Use one or two the next time you start to feel like you need a break. Don’t let it get to the point where you’re burned out from exhaustion – take the time you need to relax. Don’t feel like you’re not being productive by taking a few days off. It might just be the best productivity tip you could follow because when you return, you’ll be ready and raring to go. If things are so hectic you can’t take a day off right now, at least take a few hours at night or on a weekend to get away by yourself and do something you enjoy. This will help give you the perspective you need.
Good mental health is a product of many different factors, but one chief factor is how well you take care of yourself. Taking the time to practice self-care will give you a better outlook on life and keep you energized and productive at home and at work. Here’s to good mental health!
Founder and Creator of Fitness MOMents® LLC
Trish Marmo is on a one-woman mission to help busy women over 40 “wake up” to becoming their best selves and reclaim their health and fitness! If you’ve woken up to the fact that what you’ve been doing isn’t working anymore more, or you don’t recognize the person you see staring back at you in the mirror, then let’s talk! Schedule a Breakthrough Session here or learn more about how I can help you here!