7 Self-Care Habits That Promote Mental Wellness

A pro-active self-care routine has the power to heal.

Being out in nature is the best self-care.

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Being proactive in your self-care and mental health is more important now than ever. The pandemic showed the world that isolation and loneliness took a toll on people’s wellbeing. But people can thrive only when they take time out of their busy schedules to care for themselves, according to a blog on Better Up.

In a nutshell, self-care is a set of practices that you engage in to ensure self-acceptance and self-love. It’s a way of prioritizing your needs so that you can take care of your relationships, your job requirements, as well as your physical and mental health.

If you don’t know where to begin, check out this list of seven self-care habits that promote the healing and wellness you need:

Practice Mindfulness

One of the best ways to do self-care is by practicing mindfulness.  That’s because mindfulness can help you dig deep into yourself by living in the present and not letting life’s stressors take over. One of the ways to practice mindfulness is through mindful meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises. Mindful meditation allows you to sit quietly and pay attention to your body and this provides an overall sense of calm and wellbeing.

Woman doing mindful meditation.

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Spend Time in Nature

Spending time in nature is also a way to practice self-care. Whether you enjoy walking, hiking, or gardening, spending time outdoors is good for your body and your soul. Research has shown that connections to nature – in green or blue spaces – translates to better physical and mental wellbeing. If you don’t live near a park or forest, having plants in your home or listening to sounds of nature are also therapeutic and can help you feel calm and relaxed.

Being in nature is good for your mental health.

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Get Moving

Give your mind a mood-boosting workout by moving your body, according to Positive News. Physical activity like exercise releases dopamine, the ‘feel good’ hormone, and helps to reduce stress hormones like cortisol. While you may not have time to go to a gym there are many exercises you can do at home or work. Take a walk during your lunch break, use the stairs instead of an elevator, or park further away from the entrance of the supermarket

Mother and daughter exercising at home.

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Catch Some Zzs

Getting enough rest is just as important for your self-care as physical activity. While getting eight hours of sleep is the recommended amount, some people may need more or less to recharge. Besides waking up energized and ready to go in the morning, getting enough sleep has a host of other benefits, including boosting your brain and memory.

Getting enough sleep is important for your wellbeing.

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Eat a Gut Healthy Diet

There is a link between your gut and your brain. Having good microbiome affects your state of mind and your gut health. A 2016 study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry suggested that adding probiotics, like the ones in yogurt, reduced stress. The healthiest foods to eat include a varied plant-rich diet that is high in fiber and fermented foods. Diets high in sugar and processed food are bad for your health and wellbeing.

Homemade Greek yogurt is rich in probiotics

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Make Connections

Staying connected to others is an important part of self-care, according to verywell mind. Socializing with your friends and family is important even if you don’t think you have enough time. The isolation from the lockdowns caused anxiety and depression to increase. Getting out and spending time with others has the opposite effect.

For an optimal social life, explained Positive News, spend time with people who accept you for who you are, who support your growth and make you feel safe and secure. So call an old friend and reconnect or spend some quality bonding time with your family. It will do you a world of good.

Connect with friends for your mental wellbeing.

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Show Kindness

Being kind is an easy way to practice self-care and it is contagious as one kind act leads to another. One of the best ways to be kind is to volunteer to help others. It's good for your community and for yourself. Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose and self-worth while boosting your own positivity. If you don’t know where to start, you can check out some volunteer ideas on the Good Deeds Day website.

Helping an elderly neighbor.

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