4 Ways Self-Care Is Beneficial to Mental Health

Woman watering her indoor plantsYou may have heard the term “self-care” many times. Your family, friends, and therapist may tell you repeatedly that you need to take of yourself. So what does self-care really mean?

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care is quite a broad term that encompasses anything that you do for yourself, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. Your self-care regime may include a relaxing day at the spa, an exercise episode, a movie night, or simply reading. It includes anything that you engage yourself in to take care of your well-being and personal needs. It is vital for your mental health, but it is more than often neglected.

Most of our time may often be spent working to make a living and making others happy. Sometimes it is our boss we wish to impress, sometimes it is our partner we wish to please, or sometimes it is our parents we wish to make proud. Where do we count ourselves on the list of people who we wish to please? In many cases, nowhere.

Benefits of Self-Care

Self-care is extremely important for your physical well-being and mental health. It’s hard to make anyone happy if you fail to keep yourself happy. You should keep yourself number one on the list, and the rest of the people can come later. There are numerous benefits of self-care for mental health, which have been listed here for you.

1. Enhanced Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is how worthy you consider yourself. Most of the times, you may allow others to define your worth. However, when you start taking care of yourself, you begin investing time for your well-being. You start doing things that you enjoy. It is a way of telling yourself “I matter.”

With this kind of attitude, your sense of self-worth gets stronger. You start questioning the inner critic that keeps discouraging you. With a greater belief in your capabilities, you are able to put an end to the negative self-talk, which is one major step towards improving your mental health.

2. Better Productivity

One of the most important things you may bring yourself to do is saying “no” to things that involve stretching yourself out. In the process of being negligent about yourself, you may fail to say no to anyone and anything that demands extra time and effort from your end. But when you start taking care of yourself, you get the courage to turn down requests that demand you to go the extra mile at the cost of your well-being.

With that, you are able to focus more on the few things that you have on your hands, resulting in better productivity. The sense of accomplishment, whether big or small, can play a major role in making you feel better mentally and emotionally.

3. Improved Health

Self-care significantly affects physical and mental health, allowing you to invest more time in activities that you enjoy and that are good for your health. This can lead you to become mentally and physically stronger. You are able to clear your mind of unhelpful thoughts and focus completely on the liberating feeling your present brings you. Feeling liberated is also a vital part of mental health therapy.

4. Increased Self-Knowledge

The process of self-care can be truly overwhelming. You will learn a lot about yourself that you didn’t know earlier. Self-care takes you on a journey of self-knowledge and self-improvement. You are able to revive the inner self, which you may have thought was lost somewhere. You are able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and with that, you are able to work more specifically on self-improvement.

When your self-knowledge is increased, your reliance on external validation may be greatly reduced. This will make you feel good about yourself, which is one of the best possible favors you can do for your mental health.

Self-care is not just something that you can start doing today and be done with tomorrow. It is a continuous process that you need to become habitual about. Putting yourself first is not being selfish; instead, it is being wise. Loving yourself will open the doors to loving others. Valuing yourself will make you understand the value of others. Self-care makes you care for yourself the same way you would care for someone else, because you are important—and you should be your own favorite human!

© Copyright 2020 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Jacqueline D. Pearce, therapist in Baldwin, New York

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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