A lot of times in life, we get so caught up in the noise that life has to offer that we forget to be mindful of our personal wellbeing. We go as far as taking care of others and neglecting ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, taking care of others is good, but to be able to effectively take care of those around us, we need to take care of ourselves first. The art of taking care of ourselves is simply termed “self-care.” Self-care is what we do to establish and maintain good health and to prevent or deal with illness.
An aspect of self-care that this blog post will be about is mental health. Just like physical health, mental health is also important. Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioural, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. Every day we interact with people and socialize. These activities require the effective use of our minds. Stress, anxiety, fear and even anger are all normal reactions to the effects and unknowns of the current economy we face. If left unmanaged, these issues can lead to serious emotional, psychological, and even physical problems. As far as leading to heart disease and high blood pressure.
It’s important to protect our mental health and well-being so that we can handle daily stress and be effective in helping others when they need us. Protecting our mental health also translates positively to our physical health. It is important to identify emotional and spiritual needs, foster and sustain strong relationships and achieve balance in different areas of our life.
Tips to maintain good mental health
1. Set boundaries
Without boundaries, we tend to become pressured in different aspects of our lives. In order not to get overwhelmed, it is important to strike a balance and set clear boundaries. It’s OK to say “no” to activities you know you don’t like or no longer want to do. Examples are setting bedtime rules of not checking your phone or watching the news. Another way is by setting a particular time to be alone and meditate.
2. Do away with toxic relationships
A toxic relationship is a relationship that is consistently unpleasant and draining for the people in it, to the point that negative moments outweigh and outnumber the positive ones. Once you are in a relationship that makes you feel unsupported, misunderstood or attacked, stay away and move on. Why be in a relationship that makes you feel worse rather than better? This affects our mental health.
3. Express yourself
Why store up your feelings when you can let them out? We are not robots and we can’t put up with everything life throws at us. Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling or any problems you may be facing. Holding these emotions in can make you feel worse. Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health. Find a confidant and share. Be intentional about your mind.
4. Love yourself
Nobody, other than God, can love you as much as you love yourself. We are created in the image and likeness of God. That just tells us we are uniquely and specially created. Why not love yourself? People-pleasing is a losing battle. When you focus on self-love and self-compassion rather than trying to get others to love you, you build your self-esteem and break co-dependent patterns so you can form healthier, happier relationships—with yourself and others. Affirmations are a perfect way to develop self-love.
5. Stay active
Maintain a healthy habit. Eat well. Exercise regularly. Get enough sleep. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy, and is also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health. Healthy habits can help reduce stress and anxiety. It helps prevent small health issues from turning into big ones.