Make Every Day a Mental Health Day

With so much talk today around the idea of self-care, it can be easy to lose sight of concrete steps to take and how they help you. Given its importance for not only our physical but also our mental health, it's worth taking a closer look at just three pieces of self-care that you can begin implementing now in order to improve your routine, your health, your relationships, and, ultimately, your life.

Move the Stress Away

It's no secret that exercise is good for your physical health. From obesity to heart disease, regular exercise can stave off a wide range of bodily threats and keep you healthy and fit for years to come. While that alone is likely enough to help you feel better mentally, making a habit out of physical activity can also offer more direct advantages to your inner well-being, from reducing depression to making you a better learner.

Want to start exercising, but need an extra push to get moving? Try investing in a fitness tracker or smartwatch to hold yourself accountable. These devices can track your steps and workouts and monitor your sleep and heart rate. On top of all that, some will even let you know if the noise in your environment is loud enough to affect your hearing.

Get Back to Nature

As Harvard Health Publishing points out, spending time outdoors is always good for your mental health. You can plan some fun activities in your backyard, or you can take it up a notch by hiking some trails or planning a camping trip. Just make sure you’ve got all the proper gear, including a durable pair of boots, waterproof tent, and quality flashlight (some models are waterproof and have adjustable light settings).

But getting outdoors isn't the only way to reap Mother Nature's benefits in your self-care routine. Humans have been taking advantage of the superpowers found in various plants and herbs since the dawn of time, and they're no less effective in today's modern world than they were for our hunting-and-gathering ancestors.

There are a host of natural remedies you can use for everything from insomnia — try cherry juice! — to fatigue and anxiety. The best part? No prescription is required. You can find remedies like tart cherry juice nearly anywhere. Just remember that everyone's body is different, and don't be discouraged if you need to try a few different remedies in order to find the one that works best for you.

Learn to Say “No”

In a world with constant demands on our attention and time, it's easy to let hours (and days) slip away from us without ever getting to the things that matter most. Whether workaholics or people-pleasers, too many people find themselves agreeing to requests and responsibilities even if they don't have the bandwidth — or even simply the interest — to do so. This leads to stress and burnout and will gradually take its toll not only on the individual but on their relationships as well.

To counter this tendency, retain a healthy margin in your life, and restore your mental health, learn specific strategies for saying “no” to requests that don't align with your priorities. Though it may be difficult at first, it's a discipline that will get easier with practice — especially when you begin to see the benefits of devoting that time to the things that really matter to you.

Self-care is so much more than just taking a vitamin or getting extra rest when you're sick. It encompasses all of your well-being, from the physical to the mental and emotional. From exercise to natural remedies to prioritizing your time, there are a number of simple and specific ways to begin improving your self-care practice for better mental health today.


Credit to: Brad Krause