7 Self-Care Tips to Improve Your Mental Health

We all experience stress from time to time. Taking time to focus on your self-care can make a difference. This means taking time out of your daily schedule to do things that make you feel good. But where should you begin? Here are seven self-care tips to improve your mental health. 

1. Treat Yourself to New lingerie, a Bubble Bath, or a Good Book

Being self-indulgent on occasion can help you feel happier and more relaxed. You might consider buying yourself a new handbag or lingerie panties, getting a manicure and pedicure, eating an ice cream sundae, enjoying a good book or taking a bubble bath. The key is to treat yourself to something that makes you feel good. Research has found that treating yourself can reduce stress and anxiety. 

2. Stick to a Sleep Routine

Sticking to a sleep routine can help ensure you’re as energized as possible. Most people are chronically sleep deprived and don’t even realize it. It’s ideal to get at least eight hours of sleep per night. Avoid using blue light devices and screens an hour before going to sleep, and try setting both a regular bedtime and wake-up time 

3. Follow a Healthy Diet

This may seem like one of the most obvious self-care tips, but most of us don’t think about it when trying to improve our mental health. Following a well-balanced diet that consists of lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you feel good physically and mentally. Be sure to limit highly processed foods, sugar, and caffeine, which can make you feel de-energized and make it more difficult to focus. 

4. Spend Time in Nature 

Spending time in nature is one of the best things you can do when focusing on self-care. Going for a walk in the woods or on the beach, hiking a local trail, taking the dog to the park or intentionally doing anything else outdoors offers numerous mental health benefits. It can help boost your mood, promote relaxation, and re-energize you. 

5. Practice Daily Gratitude 

Research from UC Davis Health found that gratitude helps reduce stress and depression while also decreasing feelings of envy, resentment, and regret. There are a number of ways to practice gratitude on a daily basis. You might consider writing in a gratitude journal or listing the top 10 things you are most thankful for each morning to give you a brighter outlook for the day.

6. Make Time for Exercise

Our mental and physical health tend to go hand in hand. Making time to exercise at least a few times a week can help you feel better physically. It can also help boost confidence. Since exercise causes the body to release “feel-good” endorphins, it can also help enhance your overall well-being.

7. Spend Time With Loved Ones

Our schedules can get hectic sometimes. Between work, school, and family, it can be difficult to fit in time for our loved ones. Making time for friends and family can help you de-stress. For some, that may mean scheduling a time to meet up for lunch or drinks. For others, it could mean making more time for Zoom or FaceTime calls.

It’s important to make time for your significant other, too. Setting a weekly date night with no distractions is one way to stay consistent in your relationship amid your otherwise busy life. Showing love — and feeling loved — can help put you into a better mindset. 

These are just seven self-care tips to improve mental health. Whether you go shopping, take a bubble, or spend time outdoors, there are plenty of great ways to decrease feelings of depression and anxiety and boost feelings of happiness and a sense of overall well-being. Remember: you’re worth it!