The Mental Health Benefits Of Taking Care Of Yourself
Mental health challenges can include many things, from stress to anxiety to mood disorders like depression, and millions of Americans struggle with making sure their minds and bodies are balanced. When it comes to making sure your mental health is in good shape, it’s important to realize the benefits of taking good care of your needs. It’s not all about diet and exercise, although those are crucial components. It’s also about knowing when you need a break, getting into a more restful sleep routine, and putting yourself first now and then.
When you learn how to make yourself a priority, you’re also learning how to listen to your body. It’s all too easy sometimes to get so busy that we forget to pay attention to our own needs, and that can be dangerous. Letting things like oral health, fitness, and illness go unchecked can lead to larger problems for both the body and mind, so it’s crucial not to ignore them.
Here are a few tips on how to make sure your mental health is balanced.
Get to know your health insurance policy
Learning what your health insurance will cover is essential in figuring out the best ways to take care of yourself, especially if you’re a senior. Keeping yourself healthy comes in many forms, so don’t forget to look at where your policy stands in terms of holistic care, like acupuncture. Many insurance plans don’t provide for this kind of treatment, but Medicare may cover physical therapy, which will help with the chronic pain issues that older adults typically have trouble with.
Get some sleep
Few people realize the importance of getting good sleep, but it can truly have a profound effect on your mind and body. From helping you function well during the day to keeping your mood balanced, getting the right amount of rest is crucial to your well-being. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, consider the environment. A bedroom that has too much light, too many bright colors, or is too hot can be detrimental to your rest routine, but you should also consider dietary factors. Eating red meat or consuming caffeine too close to bedtime can keep you awake as well.
Take a break
Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a break and get away from everything for a bit, and this is a hard lesson for some to learn. You may not want to stop in the middle of a project at work when you have a good flow going, but if you’re feeling stressed about it, try stepping away for a few minutes. Walk outside, take a deep breath, and let your mind reset. If stress and anxiety are getting to you through the week, head out for a hike on the weekend and get away from the noise for a little while.
Make time for your partner
While this is essential for all couples, making time for one another is especially important for new parents. It can be hard to tear yourself away from your baby, but your relationship also needs sustenance and care, which means carving out time to be together alone. This doesn’t necessarily mean sex; it could be going out for coffee, dinner or ordering in and leaving the baby with a trusted friend or family member. And while sex after baby may not come right away, you can find other forms of intimacy like cuddling and kissing. Remember, keeping your connection strong is a significant form of self-care for your relationship and each other.
While you may not have time to do it every day, taking a few moments throughout the week to pamper yourself-- even just a little--is important. It can help to boost your self-confidence while allowing you to relax and focus on yourself during a busy time, and it doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant. Try going for a pedicure, buying some new clothes, or making yourself a tantalizing healthy meal.
There are many mental health benefits that come from taking good care of yourself, and it’s a very personal path, so take the time to think about what would help you feel best. Create a routine that will allow you to factor in your needs as well as your responsibilities, and you’ll be on your way to feeling your best before you know it.