Practicing Self-Care for Mental Health
By Joanne Guillard
What is Self-Care?
The dictionary definition of self-care:
the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. (dictionary.com)
the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. (dictionary.com)
care for oneself; provided by oneself often without the consultation of a medical professional. (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-care)
any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-care)
A simple way to put it self-care is any activity that helps you improve and take care of your mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health. It’s also key to improve mood and relationship with yourself.
Self-care isn’t a selfish act. It is about knowing what we need and a way to take care of ourselves well.
Three Ways to Practice Self-Care:
Keeping a Journal/Diary
Keeping a journal gives clarity. Instead of keeping all your emotions and feelings inside. Writing them down gives a kind of peace and release of the things you’ve been carrying. I keep multiple journals. Types of journals I keep are prayer journal, personal journal, journal for goal setting, and art journal are a few.
Exercise is a key part of self-care. Any type of movement like taking a walk, bike riding, swimming, or any type of sport is good for the mind and body. Movement gives you energy that you need to take care of yourself. Fresh air and vitamin D helps boost your mood. Find a physical activity that works for you.
You can begin or end your day with meditating. Meditate for 10–20 minutes. Meditation reduces stress and anxiety. In the morning, I read the bible and pray. Focus on a bible verse and meditate on it. Write the scripture down and read it over and over, post it around the house.
Here are more ways you can practice self-care:
Declutter your room (house)
Take a long, warm bath
Go for a long walk
A solo dance party
Watch the sun rise
Binge-watch your favorite Netflix show
Talk with really good friend/mentor
Do something creative (draw, doodle, paint, etc)
Give yourself a spa day
Make time for hobbies
Listen to your favorite playlist