Self-Care Routine for Your Mental Health
With family, work and social commitments taking up a huge chunk of time, it’s often easy to forget about yourself and focus your energy on other people’s happiness.
However, with an estimated 26% of Americans aged 18 or older suffering from a mental health condition each year, it’s a good idea to make time to focus on your own wellbeing.
Self-care is the art of listening to your body, tuning into your thoughts and taking action on anything that feels out of line in your life. A way to do this is to adopt a daily self-care routine, that you stick to and works for you.
How to Start a Self-Care Routine?
Putting together a self-care routine checklist is the best way to get started. It doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your whole life immediately. Even small changes count, like eating more vegetables and taking a daily walk. And, once you see success, you can add to your routine. Take a look at these self-care basics for morning and evening:
Self-Care Morning Routine
- Practice Gratitude
Getting the right morning routine for mental health starts with gratitude. Write down what you’re grateful for to increase happiness, enhance relationships and improve the feeling of well-being. Gratefulness removes toxic emotions and has been proven to have lasting effects on the brain.
- Take in Some Sunlight
Morning sunlight wakes you up and increases alertness more quickly. Get out for a walk, or open the curtains to let the light in. If you live in an area with longer hours of darkness, blue light therapy is effective at improving symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) such as lack of energy and a lowered mood.
- Stretch and Meditate
Hectic schedules often get in the way of exercising in the mornings. However, stretching and exercise are proven mood enhancers that can reduce symptoms of stress. Meditation also has multiple proven mental health benefits. Just 10 minutes a day can reduce anxiety, depression, stress and pain.
Self-Care Night Routine
- Be Consistent
The key to a successful night routine for mental health is consistency. If you go to bed at different times every night, this will lead to a confused sleep pattern and may even lead to insomnia. Quality sleep can minimize mental health issues such as anxiety and reduce stress, making you ready for what the next day brings.
- Unplug from Technology
Constantly looking at your phone in the evenings, keeps your brain engaged, thus delaying the ability to fall asleep. Alongside this, the blue light from the screen suppresses melatonin that can lead to insomnia, tiredness and irritability the next day.
- Listen to Relaxing Music
Listening to music helps to promote sleep and reduce any issues that prevent sleep. Studies have shown how music reduces the stress hormone cortisol and triggers the release of dopamine, which is vital for mental well-being. Find curated sounds for sleep on the BetterSleep app.
The right self-care routine can improve your mental health during the day. Choose activities that are easy to incorporate into your schedule so you don’t add more stress into your life. Even the smallest changes, can trigger big, noticeable gains.
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