26 Jul Self-Care and Mental Health: the Undeniable Connection
Our mental health requires a balancing act, even when life commitments contrive to get in the way. We need to invest ourselves in the fundamentals of self-care, from sleep to self-care to having fun. Thankfully, there are plenty of means to do just that without feeling exhausted.
Sleep can be undermined by many things, from poor mental health to an uncomfortable mattress. But deep rest can recharge spent batteries and help us to feel better physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to break the cycle of sleeplessness due to anxiety. Don’t give up hope, however, as there are methods you can utilize to destress before bed and give yourself a better chance to relax. Taking time to reduce any mental strains before you sleep is a good way to begin. Around an hour before bed, start intentionally unwinding. Pray, meditate, do deep breathing exercises, or soak in a hot bath Above all, avoid technology and anything that could cause tension, like email or social media. Alternative treatments, like flotation therapy, can help you manage stress and anxiety long term, allowing your body to heal itself from injury and disease and help prevent future occurrences.
Pay Attention to Your Health Care
Self care can be expensive, but it’s also important for your mind, body, and soul. That’s what it’s important to pay attention to healthcare options and the coverage provided by insurance. Some people may not realize that policies and coverage change on a yearly basis, so it’s important to pay attention to your insurance to ensure you have what you need, now and for the future. What’s more, seniors should also pay attention to Medicare and the changes the program makes on a yearly basis to preventative care, specialist coverage, and alternative treatment plans. If you’re 65 or older, you might consider supplemental insurance to cover things like dental and vision care, as well as some alternative treatments. Companies such as Cigna-HealthSpring provide plans that will address things that Original Medicare does not. However, be sure to look at your financial situation and healthcare needs before making a decision.
Saying no to some responsibilities and commitments is valid, especially when it comes to self-care. That might mean declining brunch when all you want to do is recharge at home, or not adding to your workload when you’re already stretched thin. Don’t feel guilty or obligated to explain yourself; only do so if you think it is appropriate, or simply ask to rearrange for a later time. Unloading yourself of strain not only concerns saying no but is also about delegating tasks. That’s where a subscription service could be handy, as it can fulfill a range of needs beyond magazine deliveries and help free up your schedule. For instance, it’s easy to forget to replace our air filters, but a subscription can supply them when they are needed.
Stress builds up and can leave us fixated on negative thoughts, but certain practices can allow you to manage it. One such tool is cognitive reframing, a psychological technique that applies a different perspective to a problem. This does not mean denying something has happened; instead, you treat stressors as challenges to be overcome rather than catastrophes. After all, a negative inner voice can perpetuate harmful cyclical thought patterns that can impact self-esteem, confidence, and mental well-being. By countering negative thoughts, positive thinking can reduce stress healthily, giving you the opportunity to work through a situation without fight or flight overriding your reactions.
Opening up to others, even loved ones, can be daunting as we may worry about overwhelming others or being judged. Yet, being listened to by those we love can be a deeply validating form of self-care. In fact, expressing ourselves can benefit our minds and bodies, as internalizing feelings could lead to conditions like depression and anxiety. If you are apprehensive about confiding, consider writing down your thoughts at first so that you can become more comfortable with your emotions. Should you still feel reluctant, you could reach out to a doctor or counselor.
Relearning how to live a joyous life is something we can all benefit from. As we become adults, many of us lose sight of the importance of fun in maintaining a healthy mentality. Of course, fun means something different to everyone, so you may need to experiment to find an activity that uplifts you. Walk through a nature park if you love the great outdoors, or if you’d prefer to stay inside, try learning something new. Take time every day to be grateful and you may notice your attitude shifting towards positivity.
Life is too short to feel anxious and unwell. Each day is a chance to reinvigorate our lives and find meaning in every moment. Make the decision today to live with intention, joy, and health.
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