Self-care is about what you do to keep yourself fit and healthy. It’s about taking control of your own wellbeing while also knowing when to seek further medical advice and help. From a mental health perspective, this can mean making lifestyle changes and learning self-care techniques. This can be especially important if you have a long-term mental health condition.
You may also self-care for more common mental health conditions like stress, sleep problems and mild anxiety or depression. At the same time it is important that if your feelings, thoughts or emotions intensify that you seek medical advice from a GP or mental health professional.
Basic Self-Care Techniques
Know the warning signs. You may often recognise the symptoms or triggers that cause mental ill-health. Being aware of those signs can help you better prepare for an anxiety attack or depressive episode. It can also help you seek support before the problem gets worse.
Be open about your mental health. Talking to others about your mental wellbeing and your experiences can help them understand your needs. Tell your GP, family or friends what helps when your mental health isn’t at its best. This can be anything from being aware of your triggers, helping with any commitments, or even just being there so you have someone to talk with.
Peer support. Peer support can be extremely beneficial when thinking about self-care. Going to a support group with people that have the same shared experience can make you feel accepted, confident and inclusive. You may learn some new things about how to manage your mental health, and you may even end up sharing some great advice yourself!
Maintain personal care. When you are feeling low or worn out, you need to still keep moving. Doing basic things like getting out of bed, taking a shower, and eating will keep your body and mind working. It may seem like a big step at the time, but it will help you.
Get involved in a fun activity. You may be a budding writer or a keen footballer. Whatever it is that you love doing, just keep going. Spend time enjoying the activities that make you feel well and focus on them. You will notice a marked improvement in how you feel afterward.
Can YouinMind.org Help?
We certainly can – just search on our homepage by your condition and postcode to find the right activity for your own self-care.