How Self-Care May Improve Your Mental Health

How Self-Care May Improve Your Mental Health

We can’t do much at all if we’re sick and tired and miserable.

We’re not much good to ourselves or to others.

And yet so many of us feel guilty about setting aside time to care for ourselves; about engaging in practices that will help us be happier and healthier.

In this Psychology Today article, Gregory Scott Brown outlines why self-care is so important. If you care about yourself, it’s well worth a read…

KEY POINTS

  • Self-care is beneficial for mental health.
  • Researchers found that self-care like physical activity, sleep quality, and nutrition may improve depression related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • More research is needed to fully appreciate how self-care improves mental health.

As a practicing psychiatrist, I’m no stranger to treating mental illnesses like major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety, or PTSD. But the past two years–as the coronavirus pandemic changed the way we live, work, and navigate the world–has allowed me to understand both personally and professionally the importance of self-care for mental health.

That’s why I wrote a book about it called The Self-Healing Mind: An Essential Five-Step Practice for Overcoming Anxiety and Depression and Revitalizing Your Life.

Let’s face it, most of us have a basic appreciation of the importance of eating a well-balanced diet, getting to bed at a reasonable time, exercising when we can, and how paying attention to ourselves can make us feel better. However, the idea that self-care can treat diagnosable mental illness is still a foreign concept for many people.

Whenever I meet a patient for the first time, I always ask about self-care. Questions like: What’s your typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner like? How often are you moving your body? Do you ever meditate?

I find that among patients who are struggling the most with depression, anxiety, or even burnout, self-care is typically the last thing on their minds. I get it–a colleague once said to me, “How do you expect a patient to eat a kale salad if they’re too depressed to get out of bed?”

Because of this, self-care (especially in recent years) has developed somewhat of a bad rap. Sometimes it can even feel like self-care is under siege. All the time, I come across social media chatter suggesting that what you need isn’t self-care. It’s more time, a better job, a good therapist, or the right drug…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE