Are you always taking care of someone else? In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, many of us fail to properly address our own needs. Instead, we get lost in endless to-do lists for work, side projects, and caring for our friends and families. Although these are all worthwhile things to put effort into, you also need to think about yourself!
Taking a step back and spending some time on self-care can do wonders for your mental health. More importantly, neglecting self-care can cause major issues. It’s a vicious cycle: Too little self-care leads to poor mental health, which tends to make people less likely to keep up with self-care. Fortunately, you can break the cycle by making a concerted effort to give yourself the best care possible whenever you can. Here are a few tools you can use to improve your mental health.
De-Stressing Your Home
One of the best ways you can lower your stress levels is to tidy up your living space. When we’re extra stressed, we often neglect our environment, which leads to it getting messy and chaotic. Not only is this unpleasant to look at, but it also makes your day-to-day life harder. Searching for misplaced keys or navigating a laundry-covered floor leads to undue stress.
Taking on extra chores may not feel like self-care, but remember that you must focus on what’s effective. Tidying and organizing your space will help you know where everything is, and it will give you a sense of simplicity and control. Once you have the place tidy, consider hiring a cleaning service to do a deep clean of your home. This spares you from taking on the particularly tiring tasks, and makes it way easier to maintain a clean living space.
Popular forms of self-care, such as bubble baths or spa treatments, absolutely have a place in your mental health wellness routine. These give you a chance to unwind and relax, as well as boost your confidence. There are also tons of DIY self-care measures you can do at home. For example, you can use essential oils to give your bath a pleasant aroma, or make a DIY facemask out of ingredients you have in your kitchen.
Relieve Financial Stress
If you’re like many people, your finances may be causing you anxiety. Instead of worrying all the time, look for some simple ways to cut costs. You can set up space in your home for working out instead of paying for an expensive gym membership. Plan your meals ahead of time so you order out less. Look to see if you’re eligible for a reduction in your auto insurance. You can also refinance your home loan to lower your monthly mortgage payments. Speak with a lender to review your options, but keep in mind that refinancing is best for homeowners who plan on staying in their homes long term.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Too often, our anxieties leave us with negative thoughts. However, most of us know, logically, that there are many positives in our lives. How do you get your anxious mind on the same page as your logical mind? Gratitude journaling. Every day, write down three to five things you’re thankful for. This can be as major as your family or as minor as the way the light falls in your room. Try to dig deep and find particularly special moments throughout your day that you appreciated. This retrains your mind to notice good things. Over time, you’ll feel less anxious and more pleased with your everyday life.
Finally, one of the absolute best things you can do for your mental health is begin a daily meditation practice. Working on mindfulness meditation for as little as ten minutes a day has a massive impact on your mental (and physical!) health. The stress-reduction benefits almost can’t be overstated.
For an easy introduction into mindfulness, consider an easy five-senses meditation. This can be as simple as sitting down and noting (either mentally, aloud, or in a journal) five things you see, four things you hear, three things you feel, two things you smell, and one thing you taste. This might feel a little bit silly, but what you notice isn’t important – it’s the act of noticing that matters. Over time, you’ll find your mind more focused on the moment, and less focused on things outside of your control.
Many of us face major mental health issues, but finding ways to care for ourselves can help us overcome them. Focus on effective methods of self-care and ask yourself what will bring you long-term joy. By giving yourself what you need, you’ll be able to live the life you deserve.