When it comes to your mental health, self-care can be a powerful tool to help manage stress, reduce the risk of illness, and increase energy levels. Even small acts of self-care in daily life can have a big impact. Self-care techniques and lifestyle changes can help control the symptoms of many mental health problems, as well as prevent some issues from developing or worsening. Self-care is essential for building resilience to life's stressors that you can't eliminate.
Many of these techniques revolve around basic concepts that are often overlooked. Self-care is important for maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. It means doing things to care for your mind, body, and soul by participating in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. Doing so improves our ability to live fully, vibrantly, and effectively.
Practicing self-care also reminds you and others that your needs are valid and a priority. Self-care depends on increased self-awareness, which can benefit people living with mental illness. Practicing self-awareness can help you recognize patterns in your emotions, including events or situations that can trigger worsening symptoms. It can also help you identify what activities or tasks are necessary for your well-being, relieve negative symptoms of mental illness or stress, or simply provide you with pleasure or relaxation.
Sometimes, in cases where you are responsible for other people for most of the day, you have to plan time for self-care. People are quick to parrot the benefits of self-care for depression, anxiety, and other mental or physical illnesses, but they don't recognize the amount of work that self-care may require or the hardships of people who are trying to care for themselves while living with their symptoms. To take care of your health and well-being, it's important to find a balance that allows you to address each of these areas. Attending health care appointments, taking medications as prescribed, and monitoring your health are all part of good physical self-care.
Emotional self-care may include activities that help you recognize and express your feelings regularly and safely. Finding a personal means of self-care is important to help you maintain your overall positive mental health. What differs for some people is how they choose to do this, based on what makes them feel good and cared for individually.