Practicing Good Self-Care

Good mental health and wellbeing allows us to live our lives in a positive and meaningful way. It’s important to have practices in place during optimal times so when stressful situations do occur, we’re able to cope and bounce back. If you’re finding it difficult to manage your daily life, here are some suggestions of strategies for coping and self care. Recognizing what works for YOU and being aware of your needs is key.

Maintain friendships and relationships. Regular contact with family and friends and doing things together that you enjoy will raise your mood.

Exercise consistently to reduce stress and improve your overall health. Perhaps engaging in exercise with family and friends is an option. Aim for 20 minutes of activity a day, but any amount is beneficial.

Eat a balanced diet. Nutritious food will help with energy levels and stress management. Too much caffeine and sugar fools you with a short-term “pick-me-up”, but has negative long term effects. It’s best to keep these in moderation.

Ask for help and accept it when it’s offered. No one expects you to deal with life’s challenges on your own. Sometimes just talking about your worries with a friend, family member, doctor, or counselor can help.

Be your own best friend. Be kind to yourself and limit negative self talk. Treat yourself with the encouragement and compassion you would show a friend. Plan an outing or activity that you enjoy. Give yourself something to look forward to whether it’s solo or with a group.

Plan some quality time alone away from the demands of life, even just 15 minutes to escape. Take a bath, get in a walk, read a book….something to connect with yourself.

Have a bedtime routine to ensure quality sleep. Electronics late in the day can wreck havoc on your sleep schedule so switch them off at least an hour before going to bed. Creating a wind down routine can provide you with some stress relief and potential “me time.”

If you’re unable to establish a relaxation routine at bedtime, it’s still important to create time for it in your day. 5 to 10 minutes a day has proven benefits for many.

Regularly engage in something you enjoy - a hobby or pursuit. Gardening, listening to music, coloring, or reading can fit into your weekly schedule and become a natural pare of your life.