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The stress of daily life can be overwhelming at times, especially with all the particular stressors that have come along with the Covid-19 pandemic. When work and home life seem to blend together, it can be difficult to find the right balance. It’s just as important to make sure you are taking care of your mental health as it is to take care of your physical health. In conjunction with mental health therapy, it’s beneficial to practice self-care.

What is self-care? Simply put, self-care is defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. That broad definition can encompass a lot of different things for different people. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to determine what exactly self-care means for you. However, if you are looking for a good starting place, there are a few things that have been linked to a positive impact on anyone’s mental health.

Rest and relaxation are major components of self-care. It’s important to make sure that you are getting enough sleep at night to keep your mind feeling rested and alert. Maintaining a strong sleep routine, having a set bedtime, and setting alarms to wake up early in the morning can help you manage your body’s natural rhythm. It’s much easier to manage the stress of your daily life when you are well-rested.

Try engaging in relaxation and stress relief techniques like taking a walk, meditation or having a bubble bath. All of these things are linked to a reduction in anxiety and depression. Fresh air and exercise prompt your brain to release chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins cause a reduction in your perception of pain, incite feelings of happiness and combat stress. Taking a nice, relaxing bath after exercise can help to reduce inflammation and calm your mind for a good night’s sleep.

Lastly, try talking to a friend, and reaching out to a mental-health professional. Know that you are not alone. Being social is an important facet of self-care and having a listening ear can make all the difference. If you feel like you are struggling, reach out to someone in your life who you trust to be there for you.

Sometimes, just recognizing that you need to talk to someone can be hard. That is why it is important to seek confidential, professional mental health help when you are feeling overwhelmed. Here at ITM, we are always available to make you feel heard. Our mental-health professionals are trained to show you how you can manage depression, anxiety, and the general stressors of day-to-day life to the best of your ability.

Don’t let stress and anxiety keep you down. Try making a list with a few ideas of what self-care might look like to you and take charge of your wellbeing.