Why Self-Care is Good for Your Mental Health (And How to Practice It on a Budget)
By Tina Martin, our guest blogger.
While compassion and selflessness are important characteristics for any person to possess, it’s important that we not forget about ourselves amid everyday life. Self-care is not the antithesis of selflessness; rather, it’s an essential practice that fosters your mental health and well-being. Ultimately, when you take care of yourself, you have more to contribute to the lives of those around you.
If your life is as busy as most people’s, it may seem like there isn’t enough time to pamper yourself. Also, some of the self-care methods that come to mind may seem expensive (spa day, anyone?). However, there are practical ways to work self-care into your everyday life without consuming your time. If you’re ready to significantly improve your life, consider these simple self-care habits from Arboretum Skincare.
There is no substitute for quality sleep. Without it, we can only be so productive, and our happiness can only go so far. Make sure you’re getting the sleep your mind and body need to recover from the day and prepare for the next.
A big part of promoting a good night’s rest is ensuring your bedroom fits the bill. You can turn your bedroom into slumber city by purchasing a few items, such as comfortable sheets, fluffy pillows, and a sleep mask.
Tip: Adequate sleep not only helps rejuvenate your mind and body, it also works wonders for your skin — specially when you incorporate nighttime skin treatments.
Getting Enough Exercise
Regular exercise is another important way to practice self-care. Aside from the obvious physical health benefits, exercise is one of the best methods of reducing stress and boosting your mood and self-esteem. Whether you like walking or doing something of a higher intensity, be sure to set a routine and stay with it. Exercising five or six times a week can make a significant impact on how you feel from day to day.
Tip: When spending time exercising, particularly outdoors, remember to apply sunscreen before you leave the house to help protect your skin from harmful UVA rays.
Take Care of Your Smile
“Only brush the teeth you want to keep.” It sounds silly, but this adage is true, and keeping up with regular brushing and flossing are two of the most important components of oral self-care. However, for those of us with crooked teeth, brushing and flossing only go so far. If you have trouble keeping your teeth clean due to overcrowding, you could be a candidate for an at home alignment system. By straightening your teeth, you can eliminate all of the bacteria hiding in your mouth, ensuring you have a smile you love and are more inclined to share. Clear aligner brands like byte, SmileDirect and Candid offer affordably quick and easy ways to correct minor crowding with a system that fits your schedule. Check out reviews for each, as well as timelines and costs to determine the best choice for your needs.
Tip: In addition to taking care of your teeth and gums, remember to keep your lips moisturized, particularly in the colder months. For an added boost of hydration and anti-aging benefits, consider weekly lip masks
A great way to promote self-care is through stress reduction. And this can be done in a variety of ways. Yoga and meditation, for example, have been shown to reduce stress and calm the mind, and it’s easy to start a practice. Other ways to reduce stress include meal-prepping for the week so that you’re not scrambling to throw dinner together after a long day at work.
Tip: Did you know that copious amounts of stress can trigger skin problems? By weaving stress reduction efforts into your daily and weekly routine, you’re also taking care of your body’s largest organ.
Along with getting quality sleep, exercising and reducing stress, it’s also important to make time to relax and de-stress. This doesn’t have to eat up much of your day or cost a lot of money. For instance, consider waking up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to enjoy coffee and a book. Or go for a short walk outside on your lunch break. Or perhaps there’s a hobby you’ve been wanting to explore. Think of something that can help you unwind from your daily obligations for a moment, and try to do it once a day.
Tip: An at-home spa afternoon or even the ritual of a self-administered facial can be a great way to relax and take care of your skin. And if you perform this monthly, you’re bound to see more glow when you look in the mirror!
Practicing self-care helps each of us to maintain good mental health, and it doesn’t have to be costly. Remember to do what is necessary to get quality sleep, and include regular exercise as a part of your routine. Also, make oral health a priority, and take time to relax and find ways to reduce stress. There’s nothing selfish about self-care; it simply helps us to live our best lives and be there for the people we care for the most.