We tend to put other people’s needs and wants first, but we rarely seem to find the time to look after our own. Life can be stressful, so it’s important that we use self-care strategies for better mental wellbeing.
4 self-care strategies for better mental wellbeing
1. Learn to say “no”
This is probably one of the hardest things that people struggle with. Do you find that you say “yes” to doing things when you really don’t want to? Why do you think you say yes – is it to please people? Is it for fear of offending them?
Some people may struggle with ‘not feeling good enough’ and therefore they may say yes to things as a way of compensating for those uncomfortable feelings.
The difficulty with always saying yes is that we end up putting off the things we really want to do., like hobbies or interests We end up neglecting ourselves and our needs, just to please others.
Try to be more selective in who/what you say yes to. If someone isn’t happy that you’ve said no, then they’ll probably find someone else to ask to help them. The bottom line is, if you’re a serial “yes person” then it might be time to use the word “no” more often so that you have more time to focus on the things that are important to you.
2. Make sure you have supportive people around you
Unfortunately, there are people in this world that like to drag others down. Perhaps they aren’t able to congratulate other people on their achievements as deep down they don’t feel like they’ve achieved as much.
Maybe seeing other people happy highlights how unhappy they are.
Whatever is going on for the person is their issue and something they’ll need to look inside themselves to resolve. No matter what people say, be proud of your achievements.
If you find that certain people add nothing positive to your life it might be time to surround yourself with people who are more “in your corner”.
3. Don’t take on too much
I guess this links in with being able to “say no”, although perhaps you’re also the sort of person who likes to be busy and try out new things. However, at what point do you say “enough is enough”?
As with “saying no”, taking on lots of projects might also be a way to compensate for not feeling ‘good enough’. We hope that by taking on more, it will help us feel better.
However, what usually happens is that the ‘not good enough’ feeling doesn’t go away, and we end up feeling burnt out and resentful that we have little free time.
As much as you might like to get your teeth into new projects, don’t rush into things. Take your time to decide whether you have the capacity to add to your workload.
Taking on too much might not necessarily relate only to your job, but to things in your personal life (e.g., decorating the house, a new volunteering role). Be realistic about the time you can give and don’t over-stretch yourself.
4. Make time for yourself
Even if it’s 30 minutes a day, make some time for you! It might consist of having a relaxing bath, reading a book, or lighting some candles and putting on some soothing music.
Perhaps you like meditation or yoga? Maybe you like dancing round the living room to your favourite band, or playing your favourite computer game.
Whatever you do for those precious minutes each day, do whatever works for you.
Just remember, if you’re not looking after yourself then you’ll be in less of a good place to help those around you. When it comes to your mental wellbeing, it really is best to start with yourself because then everyone else around you will benefit.