Self-Care for Mental Health

Self-care is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your mental health, and the people around you. It seems simple, but we are often so burnt out from life that we don’t find time, or we prioritize taking care of others before ourselves to show our love for our friends and family. However, we can offer the best love and care to those around us when we give that love and care to ourselves. Self-care looks different to everyone, but here are five different types that we all should practice to lead healthier and happier lifestyles. Here are some examples of each, but there are endless ways to practice each, so find what works for you. 

“The Six Best Medicines are Rest, Sunshine, Water, Fresh Air, Nutritious Food, and Exercise.”

Physical self-care

  • Healthy eating habits – there are endless benefits to maintaining a healthy diet. 
  • Getting regular exercise – sweating helps remove toxins and improve sleep!
  • Taking care of your appearance – Take the time to pick out an outfit you like, put effort into doing your hair and makeup, or whatever makes you feel good. This is not always superficial; if you look good, you feel good! 
  • Relax and do nothing. Your body needs time to reset sometimes.

Emotional self-care

  • Allow yourself to feel any emotions that come through. 
  • Laugh! Watch a comedy or find things that will make you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. 
  • Spend time with loved ones
  • Practicing self-affirmations, giving yourself credit

Psychological self-care

  • Maintain healthy boundaries with those around you
  • Don’t always say yes to please people
  • Accept help and compliments from people
  • Make time for introspection

Spiritual self-care

  • Spend time in nature
  • Meditate, practice yoga
  • Practice whatever religion you believe in
  • Practice gratitude

Professional self-care

  • Find time for yourself in your workday
  • Connect with your peers & coworkers
  • Decorate your workspace 
  • Do not overwork. Take breaks as needed

These are just some suggestions, but as we said, self-care looks very different for everyone. We all have our own needs and interests. So we asked the LA Cancer Network staff to share some of their favorite self-care activities, and this is what they said:

  • Having a spa day for myself
  • Meditation
  • I love plants, so learning about them or trending to them with my daughter helps me reset (really any time with her); sailing ⛵ or being at sea makes me feel whole and centered.
  • Hiking, light a bath & body works candle, make a vision board.
  • Running
  • Spending time outside
  • Sleep :-)
  • Bubble bath w/ a candle, calming music, and a clay face mask :)
  • Depending on my mood, I spend time with family, doggie, going out to a nice dinner, friends, cooking, reading, swimming, and shopping.
  • 30-minute Meditation
  • Remind me always to be thankful. Positive thoughts. Every day I wake up.
  • Exercise, Yoga
  • Exercise---Zumba or yoga
  • Exercising
  • Working out and skincare!
  • Three days of work off instead of 2

We hope you can dedicate some time to doing something just for you and notice the change in your mental health! 

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