Self-care and when to seek help
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Mental health includes: emotional, physiological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, act, feel, make decisions, and relate to others. Self-care can help you maintain healthy mental health and can also help achieve results with your treatment plan or mental health recovery.
Taking time to care for yourself isn’t a selfish activity. It is an activity that helps you maintain your mental health and find balance in your life. Small acts each day can help you achieve better health.
- Get enough sleep. Stick to a schedule and turn off devices so that you don’t have distractions. Your body needs sleep to function properly and to recharge after a full day.
- Eat healthy. Staying hydrated and eating regularly gives your body energy to function. It’s okay to cheat on unhealthy foods sometimes but make sure you are also eating foods full of nutrients.
- Exercise. This doesn’t have to be a full gym schedule. Just 30 minutes of walking per day can boost your mood.
- Relax. What helps you relax? Do you have a hobby you enjoy? Does an activity like yoga help you slow down? Whatever that activity is for you, make time for it. Taking this time can be a mood changer.
- Be thankful. Practicing gratitude can help you have a positive outlook on not only your day but also on life. Try saying these affirmations out loud or keeping a journal.
- Set goals and priorities. Think about what you want to accomplish. This can be both short term goals of today or this week and other things that might have a longer timeline. Don’t make your plate too full so that you can achieve these goals.
- Stay connected. Routinely check in with key friends or family members. Staying connected helps each of you to provide better emotional support for one another.
This list is just a framework for self-care. Everyone’s self-care looks slightly different. Find what works for you and stick with it. This will help you stay on the right track.
Seeking Professional Help
Even those who have proper self-care sometimes need professional help with their mental health. If you’ve had the following symptoms for two or more weeks, set up time with a doctor:
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Appetite change that has affected your weight
- Mood preventing you from wanting to get out of bed
- Loss of interest in things you typically enjoy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Not able to perform normal activities
Recognizing a change in your normal behaviors is an indication that you should seek help. Don’t wait until these symptoms are overwhelming. If your daily life is being impacted, reach out to a medical professional who can help.
If you are needing help right now, simply calling or texting 988 or typing 988Lifeline.org will connect you to compassionate care & support for mental health-related distress.
If you are needing mental health support, Healthstar Physicians are here to help you form a plan to achieve better mental health. Our Primary Care Physicians are here to help you with your complete health. They can diagnose all conditions and form a plan to help you live a healthy life. To make an appointment, please call (423) 581-5925.