10 Ways to Practice Self-Care
Why Aren’t More Medical Students Talking About Self-Care?
More than 50 million Americans suffer from a mental illness or mental disorder. That’s one in four adults, only 36-38 % of which are receiving treatment. Nearly one in two people fit the criteria for multiple disorders ranging from mood disorders to anxiety and schizophrenia. As the study of mental illness increases, professionals are finding that mental health is just as important as physical health. Practicing self- care is one of the most important skills that can help manage anxiety. In honor of spreading mental health awareness, CBD College is sharing our Top 10 favorite self-care tips. Remember that self-care is not optional, it’s essential.
1. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be so hard on yourself. Remember RAIN
R- Recognize what’s going on, slow down and be truly present. Check in with yourself.
A- Allow the experience to be there as it is, cut yourself some slack
I- Investigate with kindness, treat yourself with kindness and don’t compare yourself to others
N- Natural awareness, which comes from not identifying with the experience; embrace your mistakes, they don’t define you
2. Make rest a priority
Sleep! Catch up on z’s. Anxiety can put a damper on your mood. Take a nap. Get a full night’s sleep regularly. That funk will pass.
3. Make “you” a priority, too
Say “no” when you need to. Step out of your comfort zone, but don’t feel guilty turning down invitations or canceling plans. Ask for help if you need it. Do not force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do. The point is, you don’t have to do it all. Prioritize what matters most.
4. Breathe in and out
Practice breathing exercises to help slow down your anxious thoughts. Do yoga. Find somewhere quiet and meditate as needed.
5. Unplug from social media
Turn off your phone for a day. Put your phone down and connect with the people you’re with. Or take a day off of work if you need to, light a candle and fill your home with your favorite scent, take a hot bath, and put on fresh, comfortable clothing.
6. Do things you enjoy
Watch a funny or comforting movie, maybe something from your childhood. Avoid triggers. Maybe learn a hobby or a new skill you’ve always wanted to know more about. Laugh! Make a new friend. Your possibilities are endless.
Get outside. Move your body more. Physical activity and sunshine can help reduce stress and anxiety. Try heading out for a brisk walk, run, or hike whenever you’re feeling anxious.
Cue up your favorite song or podcast to shift your focus, improve your mood, and help you relax. Listen to your favorite band or song on repeat, or find a calming playlist.
Write down your anxious thoughts. Getting them out of your mind and onto paper can reduce anxious feelings. Learn from your mistakes. Write down your successes. Savor good memories. Write down a list of things for which you are thankful.
Create a list of people you can call or text when you are feeling anxious. Confide in trustworthy people. Spend time with a close friend or family member. Schedule an appointment with a therapist.
Mental illnesses are a real thing worthy of being discussed. For those suffering from mental illness, it’s perfectly okay to admit that you’re not okay. Mental health disorders to not have a single, definitive cause and no one is immune. To find organizations that advocate for those affected by mental illness, visit www.stampoutstigma.com and www.bringchange2mind.org .