Living a healthful lifestyle involves more than simply being fit and eating right. While those are important components, there are other aspects of wellness many people miss, especially in our hurried world. Here are some features you should ensure are part of your self-care plan, especially to promote better mental well-being.
Take a Time-Out
We live in a society that values business, and as a result, you might feel like time spent relaxing would be better spent checking things off your to-do list. However, relaxing can reduce strain on your mind and body, lowering your likelihood of experiencing overly emotional responses, reducing moodiness, and reducing stress and tension.
Participating in activities you find calming can be especially helpful since they distract you from worrisome thoughts, lowering your risk of depression, anxiety, and other emotional issues. Take a walk, do some yoga, or wrangle the kids and play basketball together (if you don’t already have a hoop, now’s the perfect time to get one) for a few hours.
Also, consider adding some deep breathing exercises to your repertoire of daily activities, which is especially effective if you experience stressful moments since you can participate nearly anytime, anywhere. Add some muscle relaxation as well, which can be crucial if you spend long hours on your feet or are involved with a vigorous exercise program.
Enjoy More Shuteye
Sleep is an often overlooked piece in the puzzle of good self-care. While it might seem like sleeping is a waste of time, Everyday Health points out that science is finding strong links between insomnia and mental health.
Without enough sleep, you’re at higher risk for depression and anxiety, and you also can experience a decrease in your ability to cope in upsetting situations. What’s more, if you’re already experiencing an emotional or mental health concern, those issues can trigger inferior sleep quality or insufficient amounts, increasing your risk of symptoms and sometimes creating a slippery slope of worsening health.
On average, some studies indicate adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you’re counting sheep and tossing and turning, feel tired through the day, or generally feeling run down, look for ways to improve your sleep habits.
For instance, reduce your caffeine intake later in the day, eat lightly in the evening, and avoid napping during the day. Set a bedtime and stick to it, and rise at the same time each day — even on weekends.
Set Appropriate Boundaries
Do you find yourself taking on more than you want to do, or maybe doing things for people who don’t reciprocate? Sometimes, setting better boundaries is a key to better health. Psychology Today explains that healthy boundaries are not a matter of convenience or selfishness — they are a demonstration of self-respect.
Letting others manipulate you, bully you, say rude things to you, or act too familiar with you is hard on your self-esteem, and at the same time, you teach others unsuitable behavior. This applies in your personal life, on social media, or in the workplace. For perspective, think in terms of advice you might give a friend or loved one if he or she was on the receiving end of the same behavior.
You can even use a personal boundaries worksheet to help understand your issues. Discuss concerns with the person who is overstepping, and if necessary, remove toxic people from your routine. If you continue to struggle with what’s appropriate, you might want to examine your relationships with a counselor.
A healthy self-care plan is well-rounded and balanced, and it should include tending your mental well-being. Make sure you spend time relaxing, get good sleep each night, and maintain healthy boundaries. You deserve a lifestyle that is good for you in all ways.