Self-Care Strategies to Promote Mental Well-Being
A self-care plan can help to enhance health and well-being. It can also support healthy stress management. Develop a plan and learn to identify practices and activities that promote mental well-being and help to sustain positive self-care. Since self-care is a personal matter, everyone’s approach will vary. Caring for your holistic well-being can help you meet your personal and professional commitments. Different aspects of self-care include:
- Relationships and social interactions
Taking care of your body can help it to run efficiently. There is a significant connection between your body and your mind. When you care for your body, you may think and feel better, too. Physical self-care may include:
- How you fuel your body
- How much sleep you getting
- Your level of physical activity
- Taking medications as prescribed
- Attending appointments
- Managing your health
What you think and what occupies your mind can influence your psychological well-being. Mental self-care can include doing things that sharpen the mind, reading books, watching inspirational programming, or learning about subjects that fascinate you. Practicing self-acceptance and compassion can help you maintain a healthier inner dialogue.
Socialization is essential to self-care. However, it’s easy to neglect your relationships when life gets busy. Cultivate and maintain close relationships and commit time and energy into building relationships with others.
A lifestyle that includes religion or spirituality is generally healthier. Nurture your spirit with anything that helps you develop a more significant sense of meaning, understanding, or connection. Meditation, religious services, and praying are activities that promote spiritual self-care.
Healthy coping skills can help you deal with challenging emotions, like anxiety, anger, and sadness. Emotional self-care can include activities that contribute to accepting and expressing your feelings.
Mental illness can affect people of all ages, including aging adults. Common mental illnesses among seniors include anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression may stem from a stressful environment, declining physical health, or loneliness and social isolation. Mental health issues also affect physical health, social and emotional wellness, and the overall quality of life.
Consequently, supporting mental health is a crucial consideration for a healthy aging process. Fortunately, in addition to those treatments recommended by your physician or psychiatrist, self-care strategies may help. Some of these may include:
- Staying active: Exercise and other forms of physical activity can help to reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
- Being mindful: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapies can help to prevent relapses among people with chronic and recurring anxiety and depression.
- Participating in groups or group therapy: Sharing thoughts and memories in groups led by trained program facilitators can help promote interaction and reduce feelings of loneliness and depression.
- Interacting with companion animals and animal-assisted therapies: Pets and animal-assisted therapies can help to improve the physical and mental health of aging adults. Animal-assisted therapies and pet ownership also appear to alleviate loneliness among senior adults.
- Participating in community activities: Engaging with community activities, such as volunteering, promotes a sense of accomplishment. It also interrupts isolation and improves psychological and physical health.