Why is Mental Health Self Care So Important?

The importance of mental health self care

We all know the importance of taking care of our bodies. When we neglect them, we become ill. Eating right, getting adequate rest and exercise, managing any chronic conditions — these are critical to maintaining good physical health.

But what about mental health?

Studies show that mental health is just as important as physical health. And little things like taking time for self care can make a huge impact.

So why do so many of us neglect this aspect of our wellbeing?

We asked Achievement users how often they made time for mental health self care, what types of activities they typically did, and what keeps them from practicing self care as often as they’d like.

What did we learn? That while many of our users do practice regular self care, the majority of them don’t do it as often as they’d like.

Why?

The most common responses (in order) were:

  • Not enough time
  • Pressures of daily life
  • Financial burdens

We also discovered that while many of those who responded said that self care was very important to them (almost 75%), and almost 70% said they would like to practice self care daily, only 27% do.

So, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’d like to share some quick, easy, free ways to practice regular mental health self care!

10 tips for working mental health self care into your daily routine

  1. Take a quick (5–10 minute) walk or bike ride
  2. Download a free meditation app — most have practices as quick as 1–2 minutes!
  3. Look in the mirror and tell yourself one thing you like about yourself
  4. Reach out to someone who helps you feel good about yourself
  5. Sing your favorite song
  6. Draw or color something
  7. Go to bed 10 minutes earlier than usual
  8. Close your eyes and focus on your breath for 1 minute
  9. Hug someone
  10. Write down 5 things you are grateful for

These are just examples of some of the ways you can practice mental health self care daily. We encourage you to find ways that work for YOU!

Mental Health Resources

While taking the time for mental health self care can improve overall wellbeing and keep us feeling good, sometimes we need more.

The following resources are available to you or anyone you know who may be struggling.

Crisis Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Veteran’s Crisis Line

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline

OK2Talk Helpline Teen Helpline

Crisis Text Line

The Jed Foundation

Help Finding Treatment

American Psychological Association

SAMSHA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Psychiatric Association Foundation

LGBT National Health Center

The Trevor Project

Office of Minority Health

Additional Resources

Mentalhealth.gov

Nami

Mentalhealthfirstaid.org

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