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Self-Care for Mental Health: 5 Techniques to Try

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Article by guest author Carrie Spencer

Self-care has a significant impact on your mental health. Without self-care, you’re not giving yourself a chance to prepare for the stress of everyday life. That may leave you more prone to anxiety, depression, and burnout.

With self-care, you’re carving out time to focus on yourself. Whether that’s directly caring for your physical body, taking time to kick back and relax, or anything in between, it lets you support your broader needs. If you need to improve your self-care game and don’t know where to begin, here are some techniques you should try.

1. Do a Body Scan

Technically a form of meditation, a body scan lets you check in with your physical self and practice mindfulness. Plus, it can actually be quite relaxing in its own right, all while improving your overall awareness and helping you feel grounded.

If you’re busy, you can do a body scan in as little as three minutes. However, you could also go the extra mile and try a 30-minute beginner's body scan if you have the time.

2. Streamline Healthy Eating

Eating right is good for your body and mind, but creating nutritious meals can also be a source of stress if you never know what to make. Fortunately, you can make the process easier by streamlining your plan. Since that’s the case, spending time adopting the strategy can serve as self-care.

One easy way to begin is to select a set number of healthy dishes for breakfast and dinner, with the plan to have dinner leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Choose two or three breakfast options first. Next, select seven to ten dinner options, depending on the amount of variety you prefer. Then, place them on the calendar in order, creating a rotation you can follow.

Along with knowing what you’ll make each day, you’ll also simplify your grocery shopping. If you order groceries online, you may be able to auto-order what you need on a set schedule or request a copy of a past order in a single click. That eliminates nearly all of the stress associated with getting your ingredients.

3. Try a Wardrobe Update

Updating your wardrobe can work as self-care. When you think you look great, it perks up your mood and makes you feel more confident. Look for clothes that are comfortable and stylish. Some new loungewear could be a great place to start, ensuring you look amazing while preparing you for whatever the day throws at you.

4. Move on From a Bad Job

When you loathe your job, nearly every day of the week feels a bit miserable. Along with despising your weekdays, you might end up with a case of the Sunday Scaries, stealing part of your weekend, too.

That means if you’re in a job you don’t like, quitting can be a kind of self-care. When a job leaves you stressed, demotivated, or anxious, moving on lets you get away from a situation that’s harming your well-being. Plus, it could help you move toward something better, making it a potential win-win.

5. Care for Your Home

While dedicating time to caring for your home might not seem like self-care on the surface, there are situations where that applies. Turning your home into a fresh, vibrant space can serve as self-care since it relieves tension.

If your family is overly critical, you can inject positivity into the house by cleaning, decluttering, and letting in more natural light and fresh air. This creates a more peaceful environment, reducing a significant amount of stress for you and your entire household.

When you consider these tips, it’s easy to see how self-care isn’t selfish, it’s making an effort to live your best life. By taking the above steps, or even coming up with your own self-care strategies, you’re primed to navigate the ups and downs of life without letting them have the upper hand.

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