Self-Care is Health Care: How to Take Care of Yourself

Between climate change, economic shifts, and a global pandemic, more and more people are experiencing burnout. There have been ever-increasing reports of failing mental health, people feeling sadder and more depressed, and generally being exhausted with everything that has been happening.

It’s greatly understandable why one would feel terrible during situations like these. Multiple stressors are piling up, with social distancing, financial downturn, and physical threat of disease being prevalent. We’re living in unprecedented times, with information easily accessible at the tip of our fingers but somehow lacking the sense of connection and understanding with our ‘self’.

Taking Care of Yourself

It’s important to take care of your own self, both mind and body. After all, we only have one mind and one body. It’s easy to overlook ourselves and fail at self-care, we tend to overwork and over-worry about factors surrounding us that we end up hurting ourselves even more.

When you take care of yourself, you develop a healthy and thriving relationship with yourself. This often leads to being more empathetic, being able to recover from stresses, and even share good feelings and good experiences with others. But how do you take care of yourself, really?

woman smiling looking up

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Mind

Your physical health has a direct impact on your mental health. After all, the brain is as much an organ just as the stomach, heart, or lungs are. Getting the right amount of nutrition and vitamins needed will help you think more clearly and keep you from being sick; something that’s definitely necessary for maintaining good mental health. Taking good care of your body can often translate to feeling more energetic, which means having more opportunities to do the things that make you happy.

You don’t have to sacrifice your favorite foods to eat healthy either, as the rule is ‘always in moderation’. You can still eat your favorite desserts, as long as you’re not overdoing it. There’s also an abundance of healthy and delicious alternatives you can try, like ketogenic cookies or carb-free sweets. You don’t have to limit yourself to vegetables- especially if it’s making you miserable.

Exercise Can Help Your Mind Too

It’s a commonly known fact that regular exercise is good for the body. It helps keep the muscle activity and is a great way to keep the cardiovascular and respiratory system active. But did you know that it’s also good for your brain?

Regular exercise can help improve your mood, reduce stress (and even anxiety) as it stimulates the brain and helps release the chemicals serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals play an important role in maintaining your mood, helping you suffer less from mood swings. Exercise also helps in developing a positive body attitude, leading to not just being physically healthy, but also mentally.

Enjoy Your Hobby

It comes as no surprise that taking care of yourself means enjoying yourself and doing the things that you love. Doing your hobby is a great way to de-stress and relax. Whether be it video games, playing music, reading books, or making art- your hobby is your safe space where you can forget your worries and simply enjoy the moment.

Research has also shown that people with hobbies tend to recover from stress faster. Having something that gives you a reason to live or to be resilient can definitely boost your mental health, as you will feel like you have a purpose. It is also a reason to take a step back from stressful situations, something that many people fail to do. Most of the time, we’re so caught up in our own problems that we fail to see the truth of the situation. This is why having a hobby can help you distance yourself and think about your situation with a clearer mind.

Organization and Routine Can Help as Well

While it might seem counterintuitive to set and follow a strict routine for mental healthcare, it’s actually a great way to rein yourself and bring order to your life. Becoming more organized will allow you to look at your situation and find out areas for improvement. This can help you take better care of yourself, like being more attentive to your medicine, or creating a list of priorities and tasks that you need to accomplish.

You don’t have to go overboard as you can easily suffer from burnout. You don’t want to micromanage your life, what you want to do is to create a guideline for you to follow. Especially in times when you don’t know what to do or you feel lost, your own established routine can help you maintain a sense of normalcy.

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