Mental health is multi-dimensional and includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health affects our thoughts, feelings, actions, the choices we make, and how we relate to others. Mental health is much more than the absence of a mental illness—it’s essential to your overall health and quality of life. Actively caring for oneself can play a role in maintaining, building, and bolstering mental health. It is also an important component of a person’s healing and treatment journey after experiencing a mental crisis or illness.
According to SAMSHA, self-care is a critical aspect of a person’s mental health, and they have outlined the following key messages in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.
- Despite life’s stressors, there are many things that you can do to maintain positive mental health, including self-care.
- Mental health is essential to your overall health and quality of life.
- When you take care of yourself, your physical and emotional health improve; you become more resilient and can find ways to manage stress in a healthy and positive way.
When a person says, “self-care”, what thoughts pop into your head? For many of us – self-care can feel like another thing on the to do list – a check box to be completed, or something you don’t have time for. Mary Lambert said, “Self-care is the number one solution to helping somebody else. If you are being good to yourself and your body and your psyche, that serves other people better, because you will grow strong enough to lift someone else up.” Often times when self-care feels just like another thing to complete or do – we are feeling overwhelmed and burnt-out.
What does self-care look like to you? Self-care is personal, and it looks different for each person. It requires awareness, intentionality, and dedicated time to care for yourself. It’s something that changes daily, depending on our life circumstances and needs at the time.