Guest Blog post by BGS' Social Media Coordinator Tiera Johnson on Stratose.com
While coping with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders and others, we often need a reminder to take care of ourselves.
Self-care as defined by the World Health Organization as ‘what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness.’ It is a broad concept encompassing nutrition, lifestyle, and socio-economic factors.
Here are 6 simple self-care tips that you can use to keep your mental health in check daily:
1. Exercise and Eat Healthfully
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, individuals living with mental illness are often at higher risk for medical illnesses. However, people with medical illnesses are also at increased risk for developing mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. By exercising and practicing healthy eating habits you nourish both your mind and body at the same time.
2. Express Yourself
As an adult you have probably never considered keeping a diary. Journaling is a more “adult” version of writing in a diary and has been shown to help mange anxiety, reduce stress, and help people coping with depression. The University of Rochester’s Health Encyclopedia cites journaling as a way to discover what causes you stress or anxiety. Once you have learned about your triggers, you can find out how to control them.
3. Relaxation & Meditation
Meditation has been shown to be a very effective way to alleviate stress. A full review published by Mental Health America also shows that meditation can reduce other mental health issues including depression and anxiety. The study also depicts how mindfulness meditation helps build up our “emotional resilience”, allowing us to cope with mental illness in a more direct way.
Apps like Headspace and Stop, Breath and Think guide users through simple meditation techniques, making it easy to incorporate relaxing as a part of your daily routine.
4. Confide in a Friend
Opening up may not be the easiest thing to do while coping with mental health issues. By confiding in a friend about your emotions, you are not only releasing some of the pressure of your emotions but also breaking down the stigma associated with mental health disorders. Social media campaigns like “Together We Smile” open the door for healthy dialogue about mental health through twitter chats & other educational posts.
5. Read a Book or Watch a Movie
A Netflix movie binge or finishing a novel in a day does not always have to be a bad thing. In fact, some of Lifehack’s benefits for reading include: mental stimulation, stress reduction, memory improvement and tranquility. Getting lost in your favorite novel or film is a great way to let your mind wander in a healthy direction.
6. Take a Hot Shower and Get Some Rest
After a long day full of ups and downs, it is always nice to “wash the day away” with a nice hot shower or bath. Play some music, use your favorite products and wind down while releasing the troubles of the day.