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How does self-care improve mental health?

Hearing the word self-care, people often associate it with bubble baths, meditation, exercise or yummy foods.  
Envision mental health
Self-care goes beyond meditation, exercise or yummy foods.

Hearing the word self-care, people often associate it with bubble baths, meditation, exercise or yummy foods.  

Although these play an important role in nourishing a person, they are not the only activities to consider when attempting to find balance and improved wellness in our lives, particularly as we emerge from the stresses of the past 18 months.  

Self-care looks different for every person depending on their family, work and personal life. It can also include a hard side that is often not spoken about. What does the challenging side of self-care look like? It’s having bills paid on time, following the budget, leaving toxic relationships, staying on top of car maintenance, setting boundaries, taking holidays and other activities that help to make life run smoothly.  

Self-care is important because we cannot give to others around us when giving from an empty cup. Some individuals may find self-care difficult if they are an empath. Being more attuned to others’ needs can make it seem selfish to care for their own. In some cases, self-care is difficult if they have had others tell them that taking care of their needs is selfish and wrong.  

If someone has experienced any form of abuse, self-care has likely been difficult as they are focused on survival each day.  

Blogger Brianna Wiest says “True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake; it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” She asks us to reflect on the choices we can make to contribute to long term wellness. Self-nourishment will make a person feel good in the moment and that matters. Self-care means taking on difficult tasks as a way to turn that “good moment” into lifestyle.  

Self-care is practising boundaries, protecting our peace, paying bills and investing into our whole wellbeing. Self-nourishment is having a bath, eating the chocolate, going out with a friend and giving ourselves a “break” from stress. Practising self-care can help us sleep better, improve focus and strengthen relationships. A positive daily routine can support a happier, healthier outlook to enjoy the good times, too. 

If you need someone to talk to, contact Envision Counselling and Support Centre to find out more about our programs for connection such as Rapid Access Counselling and Bridging the Distance. These programs accommodate both in-person and telephone needs. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911.