We’ve all seen the #selfcare selfies on social media — a woman treating herself to a soothing face mask in the bathtub or a man slurping down healthy green juice after a long workout. More and more, people are promoting the importance of self-care and incorporating it into a weekly routine. But, what is self-care? And, when do you need it? How can you get started?
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Self-care is simple
Self-care, by definition, means to care for oneself (we told you it’s simple!). And, there are so many benefits. From improved mood and attitude to increased productivity and energy, everyone can benefit from a little self-care. It’s all about what’s good for your body and mind!
Is self-care right for me?
Both men and women can benefit from a regular self-care routine. Self-care is a great option for anyone who needs a quick boost in energy or a mindset adjustment. But even after incorporating self-care tactics, some people might need a little more support. It can be intimidating to reach out and ask for help, but according to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults live with a mental illness External Site. And, 6 of the top 10 conditions impacting the millennial generation External Site are related to mental health and emotional well-being. It’s so important to discuss any concerns you have with a trusted personal doctor or resource.
You can find help for mental illnesses External Site through the National Institute of Mental Health website. Additionally, Wellmark members can locate an in-network doctor in their area using myWellmark®. Register or log in today Opens New Window.
Start making self-care a habit
We've compiled a list of fun and easy ways to make self-care a habit in your life. Challenge yourself to try one self-care tactic per week for the next month. At the end of the month, ask yourself: How do I feel? Has my attitude improved? How are my relationships? Can I continue this long-term?
10 ways to take care of yourself
- Read a book. Yes, these things still exist! Put down the cell phone or tablet and pick up a book. Your eyes will thank you for the screen time break, and your mind will thank you for the workout!
- Get some sleep. Try taking a nap or getting a full eight hours of sleep (can you imagine?!) You’ll be amazed at what a little shut eye can do for your brain.
- Clear your mind. Dim the lights, light a candle, and focus on your breath. There are even apps available to help guide your relaxation. There’s no right or wrong way to clear your mind!
- Get moving. Endorphins are the hormones released when you exercise. And guess what? They make you feel happy! So take a walk, do some jumping jacks, or just dance like no one’s watching.
- Treat yourself. You know that handbag you’ve been eyeing? Or that massage you’ve been saving up to splurge on? Go for it.
- Enjoy a snack. Everything in moderation, including moderation! Sometimes indulging in your favorite food is the right thing to do for your mental health.
- Meet up with a friend. A long talk with an old friend will benefit your heart and your mind.
- Give back. Sometimes the best way to make yourself feel better is to make others feel better. Help out a friend, volunteer, or treat someone to coffee to make their day.
- Get outside. Your mom was right, a little fresh air will do you good. So head to a park, an outdoor concert, or your nearest restaurant patio to enjoy the breeze and sunshine.
- Laugh. Never underestimate the power of a good belly laugh. Plug into a funny podcast or stream the newest stand-up special, you’ll be happy you did.