The Truth About Self-Care, Mental Health, and Your Happiness
When it comes to your health, what you do for your mind is just as important as what you do for your body. Self-care is one of the most basic building blocks of mental health maintenance, but most people are not sure how to work it into their lives. If you need some tips on using self-care to improve your well-being, keep these basic self-preservation facts in mind.
A Healthy Home Makes a Happy Mind
We’ve all heard the saying “home is where the heart is,” and it should come as no surprise that your home can affect more than your heart. It’s important for your home to serve as a place of refuge from day-to-day stress — an area where you can truly rest, relax, and recharge your body and mind. One of the easiest ways to make your home happier and healthier is to take the time to declutter it. Clutter and mess inside your home can lead to chronic stress in your life and can make it hard for you to focus as well. To keep clutter from messing with your mental health, make sure you stick to a cleaning schedule to keep it organized after the decluttering process. It can also be beneficial to add a touch of natural beauty to your home with plants, which can be a real pick-me-up and help clean the air.
Sometimes You Just Need to Say “No”
Helping out friends, family, and co-workers can fill your heart with joy, but if you aren’t careful, it could also end up filling your mind with unnecessary stress. When your schedule is so overflowing with obligations to others that you cannot care for yourself, it may be time to kick your “yes” habits. Start by assessing your normal schedule and blocking off some dedicated time reserved for self-care. Maybe you need a couple of hours each morning to work out, or perhaps you need one day each weekend for some stress relief. Scheduling that time just like you would any other appointment allows you to really make yourself a priority. Protect your time by learning how to refuse requests and obligations from others without feeling guilty. Being firm and polite is often a good way to say “no” to most requests, but you may need to be more firm with pushy people. Just remember that your time is valuable and that having time for yourself and your health is often what’s most important.
Lost Sleep Can Make You More Than Tired
Missing out on sleep is another habit you have to break if you want to care for your mental health. Nearly half of Americans admit to missing out on a few hours of sleep each week, and any sleep they do get is not restful. While a few hours here and there may not seem like a big issue, chronic loss of sleep can lead to chronic health issues, heart disease, and diabetes. So, how can you make sure you are getting enough rest? This is another self-care practice where scheduling can make a huge difference. Begin by figuring out how much sleep you need. You can use a chart or go by how much sleep leaves you feeling well-rested in the morning. Then, set a bedtime and wake-up time centered around your needs. Another helpful step would be to use a sleep tracker to figure out your sleep habits so you can identify problems and address them.
Taking an active role in your health and wellness means taking an active approach to self-care. Making basic changes, such as being more organized in your home or being more protective of your personal time, is often the easiest way to work more self-care into your daily routine. So, get your home in shape and your schedule in order, make sure you aren’t losing any sleep, and start taking more control over your happiness.
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