While we receive nearly constant reminders to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep, it’s far less common to hear advice for taking care of your mental health. However, this is equally important, if not more so. If you’ve been neglecting yourself lately, it may be time to put these tips into action:
Manage Stress Carefully
Whether you deal with family stress on a regular basis or work in a demanding job, it’s important that you’re proactive about managing the stress that comes into your life. Otherwise it simply builds up with no outlet, causing serious issues over time. Take time to talk to a friend about the things that are bothering you, to journal, or to work your stress out through an activity that you enjoy.
Set Realistic Goals
Often, we make things difficult for ourselves by setting unrealistic goals and then beating ourselves up when we don’t achieve them. Instead, protect your mental health by setting realistic, manageable goals. If you have a big goal, consider breaking it into smaller steps that you can achieve, so that you regularly have a feeling of accomplishment instead of feeling as if you’re constantly striving toward something that you don’t reach.
Take Frequent Breaks
Working non-stop without taking any time to rest is not only unhealthy for your body, it’s also unhealthy for your mind. Schedule regular breaks throughout your work day and throughout your week so that your body and brain both have time to recharge. Otherwise you risk exhaustion and burnout, two things that are far more difficult to recover from than they are to avoid.
Practice Appropriate Self Care
Taking some time to care for yourself is vitally important, as well. Whether you plan a trip to the local park, an evening in with your favorite movie and some popcorn, or some time to rest and read that novel you’ve been looking forward to, it’s important to have time scheduled to just take care of you. If you find that you are frequently neglecting this, consider booking the time on your calendar. Then you can say, guilt free, “I have an appointment this evening.”
Mental health symptoms are exacerbated by stress and overwork, so it’s important to take the time to care for yourself. Schedule time to care for your mental health daily or weekly with these easy tips.