There are many different ways for you to take care of your mental health. It can be as simple as staying at home over the weekend to enjoy some “me time,’ asking someone for help at work, or it can be going out of town to enjoy a much-needed vacation.
Mental health is very important. We can enjoy greater life satisfaction and cope with unexpected challenges that arise when we are mentally healthy. Poor mental health, on the other hand, can affect our ability to make good decisions, affecting other parts of our lives, including the social and financial aspects.
Here are some self-care tips for taking care of your mental well-being.
1. Know your limits
Taking care of yourself requires getting to know yourself. This includes knowing your limits and setting boundaries. Give importance to your own thoughts and feelings. And don’t be afraid to let other people know what is acceptable and unacceptable for you. People will understand that there are things within your abilities and things beyond your control. In the Philippines, it is not unusual for friends to casually say to each other “Matutulungan kita sa lahat, huwag lang sa pera.” (I can help you with anything, just not with money.) People are not offended by this admission of a limitation, and they will just as easily respect other boundaries you have set.
There is a strong relationship between sleep and mental health. Lack of sleep can significantly affect how you feel and think. This can affect your ability to function in your day-to-day activities. In what is a vicious cycle, this dysfunction causes you to worry and feel more stressed out, further affecting your sleep. Good quality sleep, on the other hand, improves your ability to function the next day. Getting enough sleep increases productivity, promotes positive emotions (and leads to better-looking skin!).
3. Learn to let go of negative people
The current trend of simplifying and organizing our homes goes beyond tidying things. The same principle applies to our need to let go of negative and toxic people in our lives. It will help you and your mental health to ignore, avoid, or disconnect with people who only make you feel bad. If, however, these people include housemates, colleagues at work, or other people you necessarily have to deal with, set boundaries with these people.
4. Avoid impulse buying
Some people believe that self-care is the same as self-indulgence. This promotes the idea of retail therapy and instant gratification, with people wanting to feel good instantly. This false idea could lead to unwise purchases. You could be left with unpaid bills and loans for things you will end up realizing you don’t actually want or need.
There is a relationship between your finances and your mental health. Handling your expenses carefully can give you peace of mind. You won’t have the added stress of worrying about unpaid bills. The key here is to rethink money as a tool for you to use in achieving your goal of a happy and sustainable lifestyle.
5. Be compassionate with yourself
Learn and practice self-compassion. Recognize imperfections as a natural part of the human experience. Be kind, caring, and gentle with yourself. Acknowledge your own thoughts and emotions without judgement.
Self-compassion is not selfishness. Self-compassion is also not a lack of motivation to perform well and be better. It is about extending to yourself the same compassion that you would to friends and loved ones. Learn to ask yourself this question: “What would I do if it was a good friend who was going through this same experience? How would I respond?”
6. Know that it’s okay to cry sometimes
Part of the challenge of practicing self-compassion is our need to keep everything under control all the time. But that’s unrealistic. Sometimes the right thing to do is to acknowledge your emotions and just let the tears flow. Reach out to people for social support. Let others know that you need help. Speak up about what you’re going through in appropriate situations. You’ll be surprised that what you consider as an admission of weakness will be seen by others as a sign of strength.
A vital part of taking care of your mental health is actually the recognition that you are not alone. Humans who nurture themselves and each other work together towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.