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Practical Types Of Self-Care You Can Do Today – Forbes

Self-care is often an integral and encouraged part of regular therapy sessions, says Dr. Brandon. “Therapists can teach coping skills that can be used for self-care,” he says. “For example, mindfulness and relaxation practices are often taught to people with anxiety to give them tools to manage their symptoms outside of therapy.”

On the flip side, Dr. Brandon says self-care without therapy can also be helpful and can be learned without professional guidance. “[Self-care] can provide support and help prevent or manage mental health difficulties,” he says. “For example, self-care practices such as exercise, relaxation and mindfulness can help reduce stress levels.”

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Self-care is paramount for everyone, whether they’re in therapy or not, adds Sam Zand, D.O., a clinical psychiatrist and chief medical officer in Las Vegas and co-founder of the mental health platform Better U. “Self-care can be just as helpful as therapy, if not more, because we practice it daily and we’re focusing on our present and building a better future,” he says.

Practical Types of Self-Care

Self-care can look different from person to person, and there’s no quintessential playbook that applies to everyone. What makes you feel good—and what best supports your overall mental, physical and emotional health—can change depending on many factors, including your needs and the challenges you face at any given time.

Dr. Zand says practicing self-love is the foundation of any successful self-care practice, though. “Once we feel at peace with self, we can improve our relationship habits, set reminders to be present to our loved ones and build boundaries and standards for our interactions.”

Below are the most common categories of self-care, plus examples of each:

Physical

  • Exercising by moving your body often can benefit your mind, too. Research shows simply taking a walk in nature can positively impact your mental health and well-being.

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Emotional

  • Practicing self-compassion
  • Journaling
  • Doing mindfulness meditation

Mental (or Psychological)

  • Seeking professional help when needed
  • Taking breaks from social media/the news
  • Spending time in nature
  • Reframing repetitive automatic negative thoughts (RANTs) into realistic empowering perspectives (REPs)

Social

  • Maintaining healthy relationships
  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Asking for help when you need it

Spiritual

  • Practicing gratitude
  • Connecting with a higher power
  • Meditating
  • Engaging in acts of kindness
  • Being of service to others

Professional

  • Advocating for yourself
  • Setting boundaries
  • Networking
  • Identifying goals and learning new skills
  • Continuing education

Environmental

  • Recycling
  • Composting
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Decluttering and organizing your space

Financial

  • Creating and sticking to a budget
  • Saving money for emergencies
  • Planning for retirement
  • Paying bills on time

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