Between the pandemic, shifts from office to home, and the changes that have happened in our lives in the past few years, it’s only logical to find that stress and mental health issues are rising. This is precisely why it’s becoming more important to care for yourself mentally no matter your lifestyle.
Even if you don’t believe that you have been impacted by the changes happening in the world in the past years, it doesn’t mean that adding some self-care habits into your routine won’t benefit you. The benefits of tuning inwards and taking care of yourself are endless. According to research, the more you add self-care habits into your routine, the more confident and creative you are. In addition to that, you become happier and have a better overall quality of life.
So, let’s get into the habits you can incorporate into your daily life:
Open the curtains first thing in the morning
Right after waking up, you should first open the curtains when you get out of bed. Getting some sunlight in the morning is essential to start your day right by balancing off your cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and boosting your vitamin D levels which are essential in making our muscles work efficiently and boosts energy levels, according to research.
Ditch the snooze button
Most people set different alarms in the morning because they are used to hitting the snooze button multiple times before they actually wake up. Although it might seem like a gentler way of waking up since you don’t risk not waking up, it actually takes a toll on your quality of sleep, leaving you even more sleepy.
Instead of setting multiple alarms, teach your body to prepare for waking up when you need to by setting the alarm for when you need to wake up. This improves your quality of sleep and leaves you less tired over the day.
Dedicate a journal for gratitude
According to The National Library of Medicine, practicing gratitude frequently has numerous benefits, such as reducing anxiety and depression and giving you better peace of mind. Gratitude journaling doesn’t need to be complicated, and all you have to do is get a journal and write down the things you’re grateful for (no matter how simple or insignificant you think they are).
Consider visiting a therapist if you feel like you need one
Therapists aren’t only for people who have serious mental health issues. You don’t need to visit one after you develop the issue – you can do regular checkups or talk to an expert when you feel like your mental health is beginning to decline. Don’t wait for the damage to be made before you do something about it. Experts will give you professional advice and may even recommend teen residential treatment if they think you need it.
Learn to say no
Most of the time, we get stressed by the things we couldn’t say no to. Even if we don’t mind helping someone or making plans, sometimes our tight schedules put too much stress on us when we have more things to do than we can. So, make sure that you prioritize your to-do list and manage your time better by doing the things that are important to you and then making time for other things.
It’s perfectly normal to say no to people you love, and there are many ways to do so politely – instead of saying yes to things you don’t want to do and building up resentment towards that person.
Make time for exercise
Exercising regularly has numerous benefits for your well-being. Exercise increases your heart rate, which increases hormones such as Serotonin and Dopamine, which are responsible for your feelings of happiness and positivity. Also, this doesn’t mean that you need to spend long hours at the gym – you can do simple things such as going for walks, doing some YouTube workout videos, or even taking online yoga classes. Don’t limit yourself to the “all-or-nothing mindset.”
Prioritize quality sleep
If you’re sleep-deprived, you are more likely to have mental lapses and higher stress levels than someone who gets enough sleep. Although this isn’t talked about enough, sleep impacts our quality of life hugely. So, make sure that you get enough sleep even if you have a tight schedule. Contrary to what people might believe, sleeping more hours makes you more productive, not the other way around, because you wake up more energized and have more energy to do things.