Reliant upon social media and digital information as we are, it can be easy to feel like life moves at a pace that’s too rapid to keep up with. The intensity of daily existence has made it more important than ever to take care of your mental health. One silver lining to the dark clouds of global challenges is that the widespread rise in depression and anxiety has pushed self-care to the forefront of public discussion. It’s become increasingly popular to take yoga classes, practice meditation, and eat healthily.
While these options can all benefit your mental health, many other forms of self-care are often overlooked in contemporary conversation. Every person responds differently to self-care methods. While yoga and meditation may work for some, others might find it difficult to quiet the mind or assume flexible positions. With some effort and dedication, you can find forms of self-care that work best for you.
Just Say No! (to Being a People Pleaser)
One of the first steps to taking control of your mental health is learning to just say no. This principle goes beyond just saying no to drugs, alcohol, or unhealthy foods. You can elevate your peace of mind by saying no to friends, family, and your partner when you don’t have the energy to do what they want. Most human beings are naturally inclined to want to please other people, even if they’re not aware of it. The desire to be a people pleaser can drive you to attend events that don’t interest you, talk to people on the phone for longer than you’d like, or help that cousin you don’t speak to move into their apartment. Maintaining a reputation as a people pleaser can be seriously detrimental to your mental health. Constantly participating in things you don’t want to can eventually break you down and create resentment towards the very people you wanted to please.
The beautiful thing about saying no is that you will rarely have to explain yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to be short with people who ask you for favors; saying no isn’t synonymous with being rude. If it makes you more comfortable, you can explain to friends and family that you are working on your boundaries. This form of self-care will allow you to take control of your life. Setting boundaries can cause you to feel empowered as others develop more respect for you when you decide to take a stand. Do not overlook this form of self-care. Do yourself a favor and start saying no to unwanted obligations today.
Get a Full Night’s Sleep
Devoting yourself to an intense career path or striving to reach certain financial goals can make it easy to get caught up in the mission to make more money and advance professionally. While it’s important to be monetarily responsible, the same motivation can cause you to prioritize work over your health. It’s normal for work to occasionally carry over into the evening and push back your bedtime. It becomes a problem when you are consistently getting less than a full night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep can be counterproductive to your career goals. Getting inadequate rest will cause you to lack the energy you need to be efficient at work. Not getting enough sleep can also fog your memory and cause you to miss deadlines at the workplace.
The all-work-no-sleep lifestyle has proven to be unsustainable, as human beings need sleep to live. Taking the time to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night will make you more energized and focused. Try eating a little earlier in the evening and winding down a little earlier than usual so you can go to sleep faster. You’ll likely start to see positive changes at work before long.
Learn to Laugh More
As they grow up, people tend to develop their idea of what it means to be an adult. Many people decide at some point that being an adult means taking life more seriously. Growing up does not mean that you need to lose your sense of humor. Part of being alive is learning to weather the storm of life’s ups and downs. How you choose to handle the bad days can serve as a clear indicator of your overall happiness. Having a healthy sense of humor will allow you to laugh at yourself and not take things so seriously. In no way does this mean that you need to stop caring about everything. It simply means that choosing to see the glass as half full rather than half empty can change the way you react to the curveballs that life throws your way.
Although yoga, meditation, and exercise have proven to benefit your mental health, there are numerous other simple and effective ways to take care of your mind. Changing your life for the better entails taking the time to explore a variety of helpful practices to learn which ones work best for you. Adopting small behavioral changes accompanied by therapy can significantly impact your long-term happiness. Make sure to give yourself the necessary access to therapy and professional guidance to cement your chances of success in self-improvement. If you or a loved one need to talk to a professional, HealthyU is here to help. Our mission is to help you establish and follow positive living strategies that will build your mental health from the ground up. Spending time at our facility will teach you effective tools to approach every challenge you face with confidence and mental clarity. Contact us at (619) 542-9542 to learn more.