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Addressing Mental Health at Home: Five Techniques for Self-Care

Addressing Mental Health at Home: Five Techniques for Self-Care

They say that prevention is the best medicine. For those who are seeking affordable counseling, or are just looking for ways that they can prevent the need for this in the first place, one of the most important things that you can do is to make sure you are taking the time for self-care. Self-care, or the practice of regularly taking time to boost your mental and emotional well-being, is something that is completely free, can be done on your own time, and can be used to build resiliency. Take a look below at some of our favorite techniques for effective self-care.

Doing something you love everyday: One of the troubling things about the world we live in now is how busy we all are, and yet how little time we actually take doing things that bring us joy. Think about how you spent your time the last few days – after sleep, errands, work, and the things you had to get done, what did you spend your free time on? Try to make sure that you spend at least a part of each day doing something that brings you joy, whether that’s participating in a favorite hobby, engaging in spiritual connection, or finding time for your loved ones.

Exercise: Research has shown again and again that regular exercise has meaningful effects not just on physical health, but also on mental well-being. Try to find the time to raise your heart rate at least 30 minutes a day. This doesn’t have to be a trip to an expensive gym – going for a brisk walk, playing with your children, or doing any activity that gets you moving can fill this need.

Meditate: Meditation is one of the practices that we hear so many good things about but few people do. This doesn’t mean clearing your mind for hours at a time. Instead, treat meditation as just a few minutes to push the stress of the day away from yourself and allow your mind to focus on the present moment. As you practice this skill, try going for longer and using other mindfulness techniques to make this more impactful.

Affirmations: How often do you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk, saying things like, “I’m not able to do this” or “I should have tried harder.” Affirmations flip these – instead of negative beliefs, affirmations give a script of positives in our lives. When you catch yourself thinking something negative, try stamping that out with a positive affirmation like the following: “I am strong,” “I am a good person,” or “I will accomplish what I am destined to today.”

Your natural support system: For many of us, we have a natural support system – friends and family that care about us. And yet, in times of stress, we don’t reach out to these people. We aren’t meant to tackle our struggles alone. When times are hard, don’t allow yourself to isolate – instead, lean on those who you can trust, either to simply listen or give help if they are able. Even if you are in counseling, the relationships you have with others are what will give you the strength to thrive in the long-term.



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Jennifer N.
Posted on 10/17/2017 by Jennifer N.

Jennifer is a writer for OpenCounseling. She has worked at a number of state and non-profit organizations, providing counseling, training, and policy development


 

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