Self Care For Mental Health Awareness Month And Beyond

Self Care For Mental Health Awareness Month And Beyond

For this Mental Health Awareness Month, Mental Health Haven in Stuart, FL, offers some self-care strategies.

The Importance Of Caring For Oneself

Taking care of yourself is essential for your mental health and overall well-being. Spreading awareness and acceptance of mental health helps to eliminate the stigma and send the message that it is okay to not be okay, as well as encouraging people to seek help when necessary.

Taking care of your mental health will have a positive effect on your physical and emotional health, boosting your resilience and making it easier to manage life stressors in a healthy manner. Here are some ideas of different strategies you can use to maintain a positive mental health. The trick is to find out what works for you, and then make a habit of practicing it regularly.

What Are Ways I Can Care For Myself Every Week?

  • Try Journaling

  • Utilize Guided Imagery

  • Start Positive Self-Talk

  • Practice Mindfulness

  • Get Your Sleep

  • Step Into The Sunshine

Try Journaling

The thought of journaling may not seem useful for dealing with depression. It may even appear counterintuitive to take time to focus on negative thoughts. But, if you focus on and document your successes, you can make journaling a valuable tool. Additionally, it can be beneficial to first write out your negative thoughts and then fill the same amount of space documenting positive experiences or reframing those negative thoughts.

Utilize Guided Imagery

Dealing with depression can be difficult, especially when you are weighed down by dark and gloomy thoughts. Guided imagery can help you create a peaceful and calming “happy place” that you can imagine in your mind. To practice this technique, start by closing your eyes and controlling your breathing. Visualize a place that you have either already been, or a place that you hope to visit one day. Begin to add sensory details such as sounds, smells, textures, and tastes to create a more vivid image. Imagine that with each inhale, you are bringing in a sense of calm and relaxation, while with each exhale, the sadness and distress are leaving your body. Continue to add details as you explore your happy place in your imagination, and keep your breathing steady.

Start Positive Self-Talk

The self-critical and self-defeating thoughts that so often come along with depression can feel impossible to shake off. It may seem like they’re stuck on repeat in your head and there’s no way to turn them off. But remember, this is depression speaking, and it doesn’t always tell the truth. However, we’re not suggesting that simply thinking positively can make depression go away. Positive self-talk and optimism can’t cure depression, but they can help you become more resilient and bring your outlook on life back up.

Changing the way you talk to yourself is an important part of taking care of your mental health when you have depression. Try breaking down your negative thoughts. First, identify the thought. Figure out if there is any evidence to back it up. What evidence might be the opposite? Analyze how certain cognitive distortions like all-or-nothing thinking, mind reading, or overgeneralization may be influencing the thought. And ask yourself if you would say the same thing to a friend. If not, what would you say instead?

Start to incorporate more positive thoughts into your internal dialogue. Focus on the funny and lighthearted moments of your day, instead of the negative ones. Remind yourself of your strengths and positive qualities when you start to focus on your perceived flaws. Don’t brush off compliments and praise, but accept them. It can be difficult to make this shift, so when you start to slip back into negative self-talk, simply acknowledge it and then let it pass.

Practice Mindfulness

Engaging in mindfulness can help you become more aware of your emotions, enabling you to distinguish between your thoughts and actual reality. With time, you can create new pathways in the brain, which will help you to avoid the same old negative pattern. Additionally, mindfulness can help you stay in the present moment, enabling you to take pleasure in everyday occurrences. Here are a few ways to increase mindfulness: Do one task at a time and use all of your senses; take a break and be in nature, engaging all of your senses; and when negative thoughts arise, sit with them before reacting or responding.

Get Your Sleep

Getting enough quality sleep is essential for both your physical and mental health. If you are having difficulty sleeping, it can lead to mental health issues. To make sure you get enough good rest, here are some helpful habits to try: avoid caffeine after 3 pm, stick to a regular bedtime and wake up schedule, make your bedroom as quiet and peaceful as possible, and keep the temperature of your bedroom around 65°F.

Step Into The Sunshine

The sun is a great source of Vitamin D, which has been seen to improve our mood and outlook. You don’t need to be outside for long to get these benefits – just a few minutes of sunshine can be very beneficial. If you’re stuck indoors all day, there are some things you can do to get some fresh air: take a brief walk, hang out in your backyard, or just stand outside and take some deep breaths. Additionally, you can open the window near your desk, have a work meeting outdoors, have lunch at a nearby park, or exercise outdoors.

Mental Health Haven Is Here For You

Mental Health Haven has successfully provided integrative and holistic psychiatry services for many years to Stuart, FL, and the surrounding communities. With a focus on promoting overall mental health, nurse practitioner Chambers can help you find understanding and relief in person or through virtual appointments. Schedule your appointment and find out more by calling or texting 772-302-4352.