Self-care is a buzzword that entered our worlds in the 1950s. It was a common medical term used to help patients increase a sense of self-worth by adopting beneficial physical habits, like exercising, proper grooming, and healthy eating. But with the recent growth of social acceptance in discussing mental health issues, “self-care” has become almost synonymous with caring for your mind. Now that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic thanks to COVID-19, nurturing our mental health has never felt more relevant.
The Link Between Self-Care and Mental Health
Because self-care started by focusing on physical benefits, let’s examine the link between this practice and mental health. Mental health can take on many forms, including diseases and illnesses that require medication. Self-care is not the cure for complex issues, but it can help them.
Integrative Medicine and Mental Health
For more severe cases of anxiety, depression, and many mental health issues, we shouldn’t ignore medicine. However, self-care practices can undoubtedly act as a complement to other forms of therapy through integrative methods. And in some situations, it can be just what patients need for mild forms of depression and anxiety.
Self-care increases one’s self-awareness. And when we’re more self-aware, we boost our self-esteem and our mindset shifts to one of personal value. When we see ourselves as valuable, worthy, and deserving, that has a positive effect on our minds. Self-care can help promote more significant healing when matched with appropriate medicine for more severe mental health issues.
Types of Self-Care
You’re not alone in dealing with mental health during COVID-19, so what are some self-care practices that you can utilize? Strategies can focus on physical and psychological wellbeing and include:
|Physical Self-Care||Mental Self-Care|
|● Daily Exercise
● Healthy Eating & Supplements
● Yoga or Stretching
● Daily Walks
● Daily Reading or Journaling
● Podcasts and Education
● Skin or Haircare
Some self-care practices promote both physical and mental responses, so some of these can overlap. However, physical self-care is good for your mental health during COVID-19 because it releases endorphins. These brain chemicals are what make you feel happy, and exercise is a significant source. Try adopting daily exercise into your routine, even if it’s just a walk (add a friend or pet for an extra boost).
Likewise, listening to your body’s physical needs is very important for mental health. Eating healthy food will keep you feeling your best. If you are looking for supplements that will assist your mental health, Agape Nutrition can help! Or if you feel more tired one day, try making time for a nap or a relaxing bath. By prioritizing your physical needs, you are increasing healing self-awareness and self-value.
Self-care that focuses on the mind is beneficial for mental health during COVID-19 because it relaxes your subconscious and releases happy hormones. Reading, journaling, listening to music, or practicing meditation are ways to slow down your mind and promote relaxation. Try enjoying hobbies like sports, painting, crafting, doing a puzzle, or dancing. They’re good distractions to COVID-19 and make you feel accomplished (self-awareness and self-worth).