Updated: Mar 8
Contributing Author: Tina Martin, www.ideainspired.com
It’s a well-established fact that self-care offers some very amazing health benefits—not just the physical, mind you, but for mental health, as well. For many people, the latter may even be more compelling. Self-care is, in fact, a wonderful way to manage stress, as well as reduce anxiety and depression. It’s even known to boost self-esteem and confidence—on top of keeping your body looking and feeling its best, at that.
Of course, the formula for self-care is quite well-known and simple, as well. Maintaining a nutritious diet, for instance, is a huge part of it, as is consistent physical activity. Healthy practices like meditation and yoga are also widely acknowledged as wonderful self-care tools. However, these are not the be-all and end-all of self-care. There are, in fact, some less acknowledged yet no less beneficial methods, which can also be valuable additions to your self-care toolkit. Check out the following tips below
Get more sleep
No doubt, getting sufficient sleep is a crucial part of self-care. Sad to say, it’s all too common for people to juggle too much in this day and age, and sleep often ends up taking the backseat. However, adequate sleep is actually a lot more necessary than most people realize. Sufficient sleep can help you keep off weight, as well as ward off health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes (to name a few). Most importantly, a good night’s sleep improves one’s focus and memory and reduces irritability, fatigue, depression, and stress.
Improve your sleep habits by ensuring you're as comfortable as possible. You can start by purchasing a new mattress if your current model is over 10 years old. A humidifier can eliminate dry air which can cause discomfort and irritation. And don’t neglect sleepwear. A new pair of pajamas or a soft and comfortable nightgown can do wonders for improving your sleep. Relieving tension at home by decluttering and organizing can also boost sleep quality.
Visit the dentist
Now, this may come as a real surprise, but there’s a direct correlation between the health of your mouth and your mental health. As a matter of fact, poor oral hygiene is quite common in the mentally ill. Moreover, tooth decay and gum disease are linked to depression, while muscle tension in the jaw can lead to stress.
Needless to say, a visit to your dentist is a very significant aspect of self-care that you shouldn’t overlook. Ignoring this, on the other hand, could very well contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental issues.
Look for confidence-boosters
Yes, beauty is only skin deep, but who doesn’t want to look and feel their best? Taking care of our appearance makes a big difference in how we feel about ourselves, and as a form of self-care, it goes a long way toward enhancing mental health.
From a hot seasonal trend to a stylish pair of shoes, adding a new piece to your wardrobe can quickly uplift your self-esteem. The same holds true for a makeover or a haircut. A few snips, a new color, and a change in eye makeup might be all it takes. Or perhaps crooked teeth are the root of lackluster self-confidence. Well, this can be addressed too!
Just say “no.”
Lastly, probably a very understated self-care tool is the word “no”—something that people definitely need to say more often. Just consider how many times you’ve said “yes” to going out, extra work, doing people favors, etc.—only to find yourself not entirely feeling good about it and, by extension, unknowingly adding to your stress and feelings of discontent.
Of course, saying “no” is, more often than not, easier said than done. However, you can, in fact, be true to yourself and stay polite while you’re at it—essentially, giving yourself the self-care you need without harming your relationships.
A lot of the aspects of self-care are straightforward. But the fact is, to really get the holistic benefits of self-care, you need to make sure that you’re also paying attention to the aspects of your life that you barely notice, too. A happy mind makes for a happy body, after all (and vice versa), so work on ticking all the boxes to achieve overall wellness.
Thank you Tina for contributing this article!
"Tina Martin stays busy as a life coach and works hard to help herself and her clients achieve a healthy work-life balance. She started ideaspired.com as a side project to reach as many people as possible, and encourage them to put their dreams first. She is also working on her first book, Ideaspired: Put Your Ideas, Your Inspiration, and Yourself First to Make Your Dreams Come True."