Advice and Insights May 10, 2022

By Sam MacKay

5 Mental Wellness Tips to Elevate Your Self-Care

As May presses on, it’s important to understand what this month represents in the world of health care and beyond. It is officially Mental Health Awareness Month—an important opportunity to engage in conversation, encourage mindfulness, and advocate for the many people who are affected by mental illness in their lives.
As healthcare providers, you devote your careers to the mental and physical well-being of the patients you treat every day. But are you focusing enough on your own wellbeing? While the positive impact you have on your communities is invaluable, it is equally important to maintain your personal wellbeing. Here are some simple habits to integrate self-care into your daily routine.

Learn about These Five Self-Care Habits to Support Your Mental Wellness

Get Outside

Though this is as simple a tip as it sounds, spending time in nature offers a plethora of cognitive and mental health benefits to human beings. Let’s face it—we spend much of our work lives indoors and an increasing amount of our daily lives staring at screens, leaving little time to indulge in the great outdoors.

You don’t need to pack a bag and get lost in the wilderness to feel nature’s impact, either. A short walk in the park or even a seat with a view have been linked to improved attention, lower stress, and better mood, among other benefits.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

On the surface, a healthy diet is a means to maintain physical shape and look good, but the food that we eat has a major impact on mental health as well. We’re not talking about fad diets or changing your lifestyle drastically—the key here is balance.

A well-balanced, nutritional diet can support clear thinking, alertness, and attention span along with a healthy body. On the other hand, a poorly balanced diet can lead to fatigue and exacerbate stressors like anxiety and depression.

Find Time for Relaxation

Caring for patients each day can be incredibly fulfilling, but such responsibility can also contribute to significant stress, both at work and at home. That’s why it’s important to make time for the things that help you relax.

Whether you enjoy cozying up with your favorite book, watching a movie, or spending quality time with your family and friends, you deserve to carve out that time for yourself. It will not only help you establish a healthy work-life balance, but also combat the stressors of burnout.

Get Some Sleep

It is a tale as old as time, but many of us take for granted the benefits of a “good night’s sleep.” We all know the feeling of waking up on the wrong side of the bed after a poor night’s sleep, fighting grogginess and irritability—but the amount we sleep has a much deeper impact on both physical and mental wellness.

While maintaining a healthy sleep schedule supports mood and cognitive skills like memory, learning, and focus, insufficient sleep can drive stress and contribute to psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression. Sleep needs are unique to each individual, so it’s important to understand the ideal amount for own wellbeing.

Stay Active

Like a balanced diet, exercise has long been positively linked to both physical and mental health. Exercise can mean something different to everyone—training for a marathon, hiking a scenic trail, yoga, or simply getting your steps in each day.

The bottom line is, finding your own way to move can not only boost your fitness and release natural endorphins, but also mitigate the risk of depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders.

Remember

These are just a few of the ways you can incorporate self-care alongside the care you bring to others. There is no specific regiment for guaranteed success—at the end of the day, listening to yourself and adjusting your self-care approach to fit your lifestyle is the recipe for mental wellness success.

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