As we countdown the days to the holidays, we wanted to share these tips from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention in partnership with The National Alliance for Eating Disorders to remind you that your mental health is just as important as your physical health as we end another difficult year. Keep reading for some self-care reminders + tips to help get you through the holidays!
Your Mental Health Is Just As Important As Your Physical Health
Mental and psychical health are equally important components of overall health + wellness. Mental health affects our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, affecting how we think, feel, and act. Just like physical health, prioritizing mental health helps determine how we handle stress and make healthy choices for ourselves. Your body needs both mental health and physical health to function properly and help you live a healthy life. If you are struggling in one area, you may choose to focus on one over the other and that is okay. Just remember the influence they have on each other and how important it is to keep up with your health both mentally and physically.
You Are Not Alone
During this difficult year where many of us have been isolated from our friends and family, and whether a person lives in isolation or not, feeling a lack of social connectedness can be painful. This can lead to a state of distress or discomfort that results when one perceives a gap between one’s desires for social connection and actual experiences of it. Research suggests that loneliness poses serious threats to well-being as well as long-term physical health.
If you're feeling alone, reach out to your loved ones for support to help combat this feeling of being alone + loneliness. In addition, starting an exercise regimen to gain strength and improve your health can help combat feelings of loneliness through small moves that build emotional strength and resilience.
You Are Enough + Worthy Of Self-Compassion
You are enough, just as you are.
This does not mean that you are a final product, complete and finished who you are today. When you believe you are enough, you know that your imperfections and your difficulties don’t reflect on your worth because we are all learning, evolving and growing into someone different every single day. You were enough before, you are enough now, and you will continue to be enough as you become more of who you were made to be.
Your Self-Care Matters
Self-care matters now more than ever given the stressful or uncertain year we all have had. During difficult times, your energy can run low and you may feel like you’re not bringing your best self to your work or relationships.
The good news is that there are practical things you can do to practice self-care, even when you’re facing challenges. Developing a self-care routine is a simple but powerful way to invest in your mental and emotional health so you can continue to do the things that matter most.
Here are a few ideas you can incorporate self-care into your daily routine:
- Take a break from activities that are stressful or unpleasant. When you return, you’ll be in a better place to tackle them.
- Sleep is one of the most important ways you can care for your body and mind. Take time to follow a consistent night-time regimen to get at least 8 - 10 hours of sleep at night, or take naps so you're getting enough sleep.
- Cook or eat a delicious, healthy meal. Try a new recipe to mix things up! We love theses healthy recipes at https://eatcleaner.com/
- Do a physical activity you enjoy. Even 15 minutes of jogging, yoga, swimming, cycling, or other exercise can help you stay energized during a long day.
- Meditate or practice relaxation exercises that help you stay grounded in the present.
- Connect with family or friends, whether in person, on the phone, or over video.
- Spend time caring for yourself with a hair mask (we love this all-in-one tip to root reboot!) with a bubble bath, and facial!
- Work on a fun personal project. Organize your closet. Tend your garden. Break out the paint set. Edit some photos. Whatever brings you joy!
You Are Deserving Of Kindness
Many of us have become conditioned to focus on our self-esteem, rather than self-compassion. Focusing on our self-esteem, rather than kindness, reminds us of the times when we weren’t compassionate to ourselves or reminds us of when others aren’t compassionate to us. Showing self-compassion helps us with how we internalize stress in the world, and helps us to be better equipped to deal with challenging situations. Knowing we are deserving of kindness, self-compassion + loves gives us more emotional energy to have better relationships with others. When we can be kind and nurturing to ourselves, many of our emotional needs are meet, allowing us to be in a better position to focus on positivity + helping others.
In conclusion, when you focus on these reminders you will realize that you’re not the only one who makes mistakes and encounters negative experiences. As a result, you’re less likely to ruminate on it and attach negative events to your sense of self-worth.
If you're in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 or text TALK to 741741 to the @CrisisTextLine. For more resources on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, visit afsp.org.