A lot of people talk about self-care and its positive effects on mental health, but the question is how many of us actually take time out for ourselves?
Most of the time, I hear people say “Isn’t it selfish of me to take time out for myself?”, “I never have the time for that”, or “There is so much chaos in my life right now that I can hardly think about it”.
People keep complaining and so they remain stagnant. It is now time to understand the importance of self-care and how it impacts our mental health positively.
Here are five suggestions for a quality “me-time” for good mental health:
1. Physical activity
Make sure that the time you spend with yourself involves being physically active, at least thrice a week. Join the gym, yoga classes, or Zumba. These activities produce endorphins, a neurotransmitter that calms us down during stressful times. Not to mention, they help us stay fit too.
At the beginning or at the end of the day, a good work-out session removes the cloud looming over our head and brings clarity.
Journaling our thoughts helps with introspection. This usually gives us a change in perspective, which enables us to cope with stressful situations.
This is something that everyone needs to do in order to understand themselves and their limitations. Sometimes its results can be very fruitful.
3. Take a break
Routine generally gets to us. Monotony is a very competent enemy we all fight with day in and day out. Sometimes boredom and monotony lead to frustration, self-doubts, and exhaustion. The only way we can deal with it is by stepping out of our comfort zone and breaking this cycle.
Do things that are pleasurable to you–but do it alone! Spend as much time as you can in an activity that is not a part of your routine but gives you pleasure. Join a class and learn something new, travel alone, be one with nature, spend time with your pets – have something different to look forward to. This instills a sense of excitement in us.
4. Nurture good relationships
People often mistake “me time” to be something where we need to be alone. But humans are social beings and working on nurturing our sense of belonging can also be considered as a good “me time”. Talking to people who are fun and positive and developing a friendship, talking about our problems, or developing a good social support system also increases good mental health.
Relationships are not always about giving time or offering help to others, sometimes it is also okay to ask for help and just spend some time that involves fun and frolic. But ensure that these relationships are nurtured by being present with them physically and not just virtually.
5. Have a gratitude list
Oftentimes we tend to get sucked into our problems and when that happens, the world looks like a dark and difficult place to live in. During this process, we forget to acknowledge the subtle good things that happen to us on an everyday basis.