Guest blog post by: Brad Krause (http://selfcare.info/)

 

Does self-care seem like a luxury to you? If you’re not practicing self-care, you could be doing some serious harm to your mental health. Simple self-care practices, like getting enough sleep or managing stress, may seem trivial, but they are essential in maintaining good mental health. Want to know how you can add these beneficial self-care practices to your regular routine? Here are the practices that will benefit you the most and how to incorporate them into your life.

 

Get to Sleep at Night 

 

You may be surprised to know that sleep is one of the most important elements of self-care. Sleep is something we’ve learned to do without and something we are all too willing to sacrifice. But studies show that we are sacrificing our health by missing out on sleep. Lack of sleep can impair our mental health and make it harder to cope with the stress of everyday life. So make sure you have a good evening routine set up to get the sleep you need. Fine tune a relaxation routine that helps calm your mind at night. Dump your thoughts to truly relax and avoid those bright screens to get your mind turned off faster.

 

Make Time to Relax  

 

As much as you need sleep, you also need time during the day to simply relax. Constantly committing to a busy schedule can leave you mentally burned out. Schedule some time to partake in activities that help you relax. Unwind in a comfy chair with your favorite book or see a movie with a friend. You can even spend some time just doing nothing! Spend some time relaxing on your porch or float your cares away in your pool. Doing nothing can be harder than it seems, so practice emptying your mind to become a “nothing” pro.

 

Don’t Self-Medicate 

 

Too often, people turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with stress and anxiety. Some people even turn to prescription drugs to relieve pressure in their lives. Avoid the dangers of addiction and find healthier ways to manage your mental health. Hobbies are a good way to relax after a stressful day or calm an anxious mind. Even exercise can help boost your mood, and a fitness routine is a good way to stay positive and healthy. If you are afraid you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, know the signs of addiction and when it may be time to seek professional help.

 

Deal with Stress 

 

One of the main focuses of self-care is the reduction or management of stress. Stress can severely impact your mental health, causing anxiety, depression, and other negative effects. So find positive methods for managing the stress levels in your life. Meditation has been proven to provide much-needed stress relief for even the busiest of people. Set up a quiet space in your home, or even at the office, so that you can take a meditation break when needed. Can’t get into meditation but still want to mitigate stress? Try these tricks instead.

 

Don’t Take on Too Much 

 

If you’re constantly stressed and find your schedule completely packed, you may be taking on too much. If you want to stay healthy, you can’t say “yes” to everything and everyone. Knowing when to say “no” and how to say “no” can go a long way in preserving your mental health. If you have a problem passing on projects or opportunities, use these tips to help you say “no” in a way that won’t cause extra anxiety. Try to keep some room in your schedule so you can stay committed to self-care and won’t feel so overwhelmed all the time.

 

Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s a way to keep your mental health in check and incorporate important wellness practices into your life. So use these tricks to start your own self-care routine and start taking care of your own mental health.

 

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