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The idea of “self-care for mental health” sometimes gets lost in the shuffle in a culture that always expects more from us. However, guess what? This blog isn’t only for parents; it’s for anybody looking for a way to improve their mental health. Here is a list of 13 unique and doable self-care techniques that transcend parenthood or any stress to assist you in realising the full potential of a healthier, happier mind. Read on as we explore these vital insights into self-care for outstanding mental health, whether you’re a parent seeking balance or simply someone seeking inner peace.
Why is self-care important?
Self-care is essential for mental health since it nourishes our emotional and psychological well-being. Taking time for oneself becomes a haven for recharging and healing in the midst of the stress of daily life. It improves resilience and self-esteem while reducing stress, anxiety, and burnout. Check out the results of this survey about the benefits of self care.
Self-care gives us the ability to set boundaries, prioritise our needs, and cultivate a positive relationship with ourselves. It’s the foundation of mental health, allowing us to face life’s problems with confidence and emotional stability. Finally, self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessary habit that allows us to thrive while keeping a healthy mind.
This is an interesting article about why some of us find it hard to practise self-care and its importance. Check it out.
Self-care tips for mental health:
Awareness of What Needs to Change
Consider yourself sitting down with a warm cup of tea (or perhaps reheated coffee for the hundredth time). The home is finally quiet, and you have some alone time. Let’s move on to the most fundamental, yet frequently overlooked, act of self-care: understanding what needs to change.
As a mother, life can feel like an endless chaos of school runs, nappy changes, and washing. It’s all too easy to become engrossed in the daily grind and forget to check in with yourself. But here’s the secret ingredient: take a deep breath and analyse your life.
“What has been disturbing my soul recently?” “What’s causing that uneasiness and sleepless nights?” These are your clues, your inner compass, directing you to the areas of your life that require some attention.
Perhaps it’s the continual sensation of overwhelm, or perhaps it’s the guilt that creeps in when you take a moment for yourself. Perhaps it’s that elusive work-life balance or those unfinished personal projects accumulating dust. These are some of the areas of life that you could explore and journal about. By identifying these stressors, you are not only admitting your sentiments but also allowing yourself to handle them.
Check out these guided journals:
Self-love and acceptance
You’re looking in the mirror. You see yourself as you are right now, in all your beautiful imperfections. This is where we begin on the second step of our self-care journey: self-love and acceptance. Becoming aware of what needs to change gives us a new perspective on ourselves. It’s essential to acceptance as we are in order to make that shift towards change.
Especially as a mother, you’ve probably seen yourself in the mirror more times than you can count, either scrutinising every feature or thinking about how you used to look before having children. But first, give yourself a high-five for the amazing ride you’ve been on.
It’s time to be your own biggest fan and your own best cheerleader. Accept your flaws—the stretch marks that symbolise the growth you’ve made, the tired eyes that reflect your determination, the quirks that make you, well, you. These are not flaws; they are badges of honour.
You are a bundle of experiences, a work in progress, and that is something to be proud of. Remember that you are more than just a parent; you are someone who has your own life. Self-acceptance and self-love aren’t about being flawless; they’re about appreciating the imperfectly wonderful you and living your own life with joy. So, stand tall and acknowledge that you are enough just the way you are.
Related post: 5 steps to heal your inner child
Be Ready to Say No and Set Boundaries
Okay, let’s go into a topic that many of us find challenging but essential: saying no and setting those much-needed boundaries.
Consider this: Your phone rings with yet another request for your time, possibly for a school volunteer or a last-minute favour from a friend. As a parent, you already have a lot on your plate, and it’s normal to want to be there for everyone. But here’s the thing: It’s perfectly fine to say no while choosing your priorities.
Saying no does not imply that you are disappointing someone; rather, it indicates that you are prioritising yourself and your well-being. It’s about knowing and accepting your own capabilities. Because, let’s face it, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You deserve to take care of yourself, rest, and do things that make you happy.
Setting boundaries is an act of self-love. It’s conveying the message, “My well-being matters too, and I won’t compromise it for anyone or anything.” Setting boundaries helps you to live a healthy and fulfilled life, whether it’s carving out’me time,’ saying no to new responsibilities, or simply preserving your mental space.
So, don’t be afraid of standing up for your time and sanity, even if it means occasionally disappointing others. Your well-being is important, and prioritising it makes you a happier and more resilient parent. Remember, you have the right to say no and set limits.
Related post: 15 effective steps to set boundaries in relationships
Create Productive Routines
Let’s talk about the importance of establishing effective routines. Consider routines to be your steady guide in the chaos of life. They not only increase productivity but also provide your mind with the well-deserved unwinding it requires.
Having a routine gives you a sense of control and predictability, which is especially helpful when life throws you a curveball. Routines anchor you in the ebb and flow of daily life, whether it’s a hurried morning routine to get the kids to school or an evening ritual to unwind.
But here’s the thing: Routines don’t have to be difficult. In reality, their strength is their simplicity. They have been shown to improve behaviour even during times of emotional turmoil.
Imagine waking up to a morning routine that sets the tone for your day or a nighttime ritual that ensures a restful night’s sleep. So, embrace routines that you actually enjoy and observe how they transform your days, making them not only productive but also reassuring and soothing. In an uncertain world, a little predictability may be a powerful kind of self-care.
Take Hands off the Wheel and Ask for Help
You’re behind the wheel, managing the responsibilities of children, work, and life, and it feels like you’re sailing a stormy sea. It’s time to think about taking your hands off the steering wheel and asking for help.
Parenting is a team effort, and it’s important to realise that you don’t have to go through this difficult path alone. It’s fine to rely on your support system, whether it’s your partner, family, friends, or a trustworthy babysitter. Asking for assistance does not make you less capable; rather, it makes you human.
Fear of making mistakes often keeps us from getting help. But here’s the truth: We’re all learning alongside one another. Reaching out for assistance not only lightens your load, but it also creates possibilities for others to learn and grow with you.
The notion of asking for help and sharing the load goes far beyond parenting. It is an essential part of preserving mental health and overall well-being in a variety of life domains. Recognising when to seek help, whether at work, in relationships, or in personal endeavours, is a sign of strength, not weakness. It encourages collaboration, growth, and a healthier balance in all aspects of life.
If you want to be productive when you do not feel like it, read this one
Have an Absolute No-List
Having an absolute no-list saves you a lot of time. Consider it to be your go-to personal shield, guarding your mental health and well-being.
This no-list is a declaration of your non-negotiables—the boundaries you’ve established to live a healthier life. It’s an effective means of expressing control over what enters your world. Here are a few things to think about:
Relationships that are toxic: Say goodbye to relationships that sap your energy and happiness.
Excessive Screen Time: Say no to the digital overflow that consumes your time and disconnects you from the real world.
Self-doubt: Get rid of the inner critic who sabotages your self-esteem and confidence.
Overcommitment: Refrain from taking on more than you can handle to save your time and sanity.
Negative Self-Talk: Get rid of those self-sabotaging beliefs that keep you from reaching your full potential.
Keep in mind that this is a dynamic list. Your list will change as you grow and evolve. Revisiting and revising it on a regular basis ensures that it stays an effective tool for preserving your mental health and well-being. You prioritise self-care and create a life that resonates with your values and goals when you actively enforce your non-negotiables.
Create an Inspiring Space
Let’s talk about the power of creating an inspiring environment. Your environment, like a warm blanket on a cold day, has the ability to surround you with comfort and optimism.
As a mother, your home is more than simply a refuge; it’s an outlet from the chaos of parenthood. It is where you can find peace, refresh your spirit, and regain your mental equilibrium.
Begin with decluttering—say goodbye to any unneeded mess that may be clouding your mental environment. Then, incorporate aspects that speak to your soul into your environment. Your area should represent your personality, whether it’s a favourite painting, a relaxing colour scheme, or a cosy reading nook.
This change is about more than simply appearances; it is about creating an environment that encourages positivity and creativity. It’s where you may breathe freely, discover peace, and ignite your inner delight.
So, take a moment to imagine and create your dream space. Your environment is crucial in your mental health journey, and by consciously curating it, you’re nourishing your well-being one corner at a time.
Be sensitive and open to life
Let us embrace the lovely concept of being sensitive and receptive to life. Consider it an appeal to savour every moment of your journey.
You’re no stranger to the spectrum of feelings that come with being a mother, from the immense joy of a child’s laughter to the tears shed in moments of frustration.
To be sensitive means to recognise and embrace these emotions. It’s about allowing yourself to feel fully and connect with your children as well as the world around you. It’s discovering beauty in the most insignificant things, like a shared smile or a warm hug.
This sensitivity allows for empathy, compassion, and rich human connections. It is the ability to celebrate both the highs and lows, knowing that they all contribute to your unique journey.
So, don’t be afraid to be sensitive. It’s an ability that allows you to savour life’s flavours, gracefully negotiate its twists and turns, and feel the entire range of emotions that make your story deeply human.
Take Care of Your Body and Health
Taking care of your body and health is a vital pillar of self-care, and as a parent, it’s critical to remember that your well-being directly effects your ability to nurture your family. Your body is, after all, your temple, and it ought to be treated with care and respect.
Prioritising good nutrition, exercise, and sleep is about sustaining your mind and spirit, not simply your physical look. Exercise, for example, is not a punishment for indulging but rather a potent antidepressant that improves mood and energy levels. Find a form of physical activity that makes you happy, whether it’s the adrenaline of zumba dance or the serenity of yoga.
Sleep remains non-negotiable. Aim for seven to nine hours of great sleep per night, and pay attention to your body to ensure you wake up feeling refreshed. Chronic sleep problems can lead to poor moods and vice versa, so seek expert help if necessary.
In terms of nutrition, choose whole foods high in fibre, veggies, and fruits over processed and sugary foods. This diet not only promotes physical health, but it has also been proven to prevent and treat depression.
Remember, you’ll be better able to negotiate the demands of parenthood and life with vigour and resilience if you prioritise your well-being.
Express Anger Responsibly
An important skill for feeling less frustrated is expressing your anger responsibly. As a parent, you’re no stranger to the emotions that might arise, and one of them is rage. It’s a natural and healthy emotion, but it must be handled with caution.
When used effectively, it may promote positive change while still protecting your boundaries. When handled incorrectly, it can scorch anything in its path.
The goal is to exercise restraint and control over how you show your rage. Instead of exploding in fury, express your feelings quietly and constructively. This not only heals emotional traumas but also promotes healthier connections, particularly with your children.
Use “I” phrases to express yourself without blaming or accusing others. Take deep breaths, count to ten, or leave the situation if necessary. You teach emotional intelligence and restraint to your children by handling anger with grace.
Remember that being angry does not make you a bad parent; it simply makes you human. Your relationships and mental health are shaped by how you channel and express them. So, rather than being a destructive force, let your anger be a catalyst for constructive change.
Reawaken Your Passions
Think about reigniting your interests—a beautiful path of self-discovery and joy that frequently takes a back seat in the midst of parenthood’s frenzy.
It’s easy, as a mother, to put your children’s interests and hobbies ahead of your own. Those once-loved creative projects, hobbies, and interests may have been placed aside, patiently waiting in the corners of your heart.
It’s time to dust them off and shine them again. Reconnecting with your passions is not selfish; it is a type of self-care that promotes pleasure and vitality.
Rekindling your passions, whether it’s painting, writing, dancing, gardening, or any other activity that offers you joy, serves as a reminder that your well-being is important as well. Beyond parenting, these activities provide an opportunity for self-expression, creativity, and a sense of success.
Your interests are not only a source of personal fulfilment for you, but they are also a gift to your children, demonstrating the value of fostering one’s interests and happiness. So embrace your passions and savour the happiness they bring into your life because you deserve it.
Human connection is absolutely essential for our well-being, especially during difficult times. When we’re feeling down, it’s natural to withdraw, thinking we’re relieving people of our load. But here’s the thing: we need connection more than ever during those times.
Resist the impulse to isolate oneself because this is exactly the time to seek the company of others. You don’t even have to say anything; merely being in the presence of someone who cares can improve your mood and sense of belonging.
This pleasant emotion might improve your spirits, gradually allowing you to find the courage to express your emotions to a trusted friend or family member. Sharing your troubles not only relieves emotional burdens but also deepens bonds with people who actually care.
Remember that your path through depression may wind up inspiring or assisting someone else. Avoid toxic people who drain your energy, and surround yourself with people who uplift you and promote your well-being.
Create a Crisis Plan
Let’s look at the idea of having a crisis plan, which is your emotional first aid kit for dealing with life’s unexpected curveballs. Life has a habit of catching us off guard, so it’s critical to be prepared for those moments when you feel terrified and shaky.
Consider your crisis plan to be an emotional safety net. It’s a customised toolbox to which you can turn when the storm clouds gather. Your plan may include strategies like meditation, mindfulness exercises, or relaxing rituals to help you centre yourself during difficult moments.
Connecting with a trusted friend or loved one should be an important part of your plan. Also, plan to get professional assistance when necessary; therapists are equipped to help you navigate difficult situations.
Having a crisis plan is an act of self-compassion and foresight, not weakness. It guarantees that you’ll be able to withstand the adversities and emerge stronger on the other side.
In the midst of the ups and downs of our modern lives, we frequently overlook the necessity of self-care for our mental health. These 12 self-care recommendations aren’t only for parents; they’re for everyone looking for a way to feel better. Remember that your mental health is a treasure, and caring for it is an act of love not only for yourself but also for the people you love. So, take these suggestions to heart, prioritise self-care, and watch as your life turns into a more balanced, rewarding journey. You can do it!