What’s that one thing you are looking forward to after a busy week at work or after a long stressful day? It may be having a hot shower or a long bubble bath, while some may choose to nestle in the bed with their favorite show on Netflix. These wind down activities help you and your body rest, relax and calm down. All these activities are centered around getting a break from the constant stimulation of the day and boost your mental health.
Breaks in stimulation as extremely important. There’s no need for some fancy vacations or gadgets. All you need is some time from your schedule and engage in activities that offer your inner peace. Activities that offer a break in stimulation but engage your senses in a whole body experience tend to be the most effective.
Here Are Some Self-Care Practices That You Can Choose from to Boost Your Mental Health:
Bath times are magnificent – they have the power to pause, unpause and even let you travel back in time (figuratively). People who enjoy their baths are one step ahead of the rest! Taking baths is one of the self-care activities that offer you several mental and physical benefits, and these are proven scientifically.
According to Japan’s Physical and Mental Effects of Bathing: A Randomized Intervention Study, the benefits of a shower include improved mental and emotional health, lowered stress levels, and reduced anxiety. A bath can also help you witness a dip in depression and offer you pain relief. Overall, you will see an improved quality of life.
If you enjoy taking baths, you invest your time to practice self-care and improve your mental and physical health. On the contrary, if you do not remember the last time you took a bath, it’s never too late to revisit this activity. Find 30 minutes off your schedule for a relaxed time in the tub and see how you feel afterward. While in the bath, you can utilize grounding techniques to pay attention to the way the water feels against your skin, the temperature, the appearance of it and tune into your breadth.
Netflix and several other streaming platforms have created a bad name for themselves with negative implications on mental health. Studies have shown people binging and being fixated on the screen for hours leads to higher stress levels, anxiety, and depression. But anything in excess can negatively affect your wellbeing (e.g., alcohol, work). Benefits of indulging in some screen time (1 hour or less) include:
- Rest from your busy schedule
- Helps refocus you away from stress and transports you to another world, even if just temporarily
- Offers you a break from responsibilities and exertion
- Does not require any mental or physical effort
There’s no harm in watching an episode of your favorite series after you wind down post-work or fixing yourself up with a movie on the weekend. It’s important to have time limits and not utilize screens as a way to numb. One way to make this activity successful is by making it a reward. If you have completed a task that you have set for yourself, you can reward yourself with some screen time. While watching you can incorporate grounding techniques of noticing your position on the sofa/couch/seat and feeling supported and light while you relax.
Naps aren’t just for kids. Even adults can indulge in power naps and wake up refreshed! Just like bath times, nap times have their own set of benefits, including enhanced work performance, mood boosts, and improved memory. Naps also help you reduce your stress level and make you much more alert to your surroundings.
Napping is a form of self-care followed by many people across the world. If you aren’t napping but want to include it in your self-care activity, you can follow these guidelines:
- It would be best if you aimed at taking naps that are 20 to 30 minutes long. Do not nap for more than 30 minutes.
- Try aiming your naps towards mid-day or early afternoons. Do not take a nap earlier or later than these periods.
- Once you find a nap schedule that works for you, then stick to it.
Self-Care to Boost Your Mental Health
Self-care goes a long way. By taking a bath, engaging in entertainment, or by taking a nap, you can focus on your well-being and get a break from the stress and stimulation of your day. Remember, self-care activities are the ones you engage in only if you truly enjoy it and look forward to spending time doing it. They shouldn’t be another chore on your list of things to do.
If you are having trouble making self care a priority or figuring out how to incorporate it into your life, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. We have mental health professionals on standby to help you take charge of your life and get into a healthier mind and body space.
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