Mental Health Focus: Self-care – Take time to care for yourself

Did you know that July 24th is International Self-Care Day? This is an annual opportunity to and reminder to take care of ourselves and make time for self-care regularly, not just one day a year. Self-care is any action that an individual takes to look after their own health and well-being. Do you take time to look after yourself? Make time regularly for self-care activities? Need a few ideas? 

Check out these tips for taking time for self-care:

  • Take time to improve sleep habits.
      • Sleep (or lack of it) can have a huge impact on both physical and mental health. Take a look at your typical pre-sleep habits and make improvements to prioritize healthy sleep habits, such as removing TVs and cellphones to limit distractions; adding room-darkening curtains to keep the sun from waking you too early; and adding music or reading to relax before bed. 
  • Connect with good food & hydration.
      • Good food=good health. When you fuel your mind and body with good food, you improve your health overall and feel much better. Stock up on healthy foods and snacks that boost your health and make those “treats” fewer and harder to get. Also pay attention to your hydration. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption as they can disrupt your mood and your sleep. Getting plenty of water can improve your energy and focus. 
  • Take time for regular exercise or physical activities.
      • Look for regular times to schedule exercise or physical activity. Whether it’s yoga first thing in the morning, walking over lunch, or weight lifting in the afternoon, find an activity that you enjoy and a time that works best for you. Even a few minutes will boost your happy hormones and energy. 
  • Say “no” to others and “yes” to self-care.
      • For some of us, saying “no” to others is incredibly difficult or almost impossible. However, you have to care for yourself so that you can take care of your loved ones. So practice saying “no” to things that increase your stress or stretch you beyond your capacity. You’ll feel more confident and will have more time to self-care and prioritize what is most important when you do. 
  • Relax on a self-care vacation or staycation.
      • Did you know that vacations are good for both physical and mental health? It is so important to take time to relax and refresh your mind. Vacations or staycations are also shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, improve cholesterol, decrease anxiety and depression, and improve productivity. 
  • Connect with the outdoors.
      • Studies have shown that getting outside can reduce stress, reduce fatigue, and lower your blood pressure. Whether you are gardening, hiking, grilling, or walking, get outside and live in the moment. 
  • Take time for relaxing activities, like reading or baking. 
      • Make mini mental health moments with activities you enjoy. Dive back into reading or devour that book that you’ve been wanting to dig into. Reconnect with your love for cooking or baking. Break out that puzzle that’s been collecting dust. Whichever healthy self-care activity speaks to you, add it to your regular routine to improve your mood and health. 
  • Schedule self-care time and prioritize it. 
      • We are all so very busy and finding extra time is very hard to do but also extremely important. Scheduling mini moments regularly and bigger self-care days will not only help your health but help you to be grateful for all the other things that fill your life. 

Don’t wait till July 24th to start your self-care! Take time today to make small steps toward prioritizing self-care regularly.