More than 43.8 million Americans suffer from a mental illness every year. Self-care is one of the best ways to improve your mental health.

Self-care includes healthy habits and time to relax.
Self-care includes healthy habits and time to relax.
Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that mental health has always been important. And now, it’s more important than ever.

A recent study on the implications of COVID-19 on mental health shows a troubling truth. Approximately 47% of Americans say the current situation has had a negative impact on their mental health.

It’s clear. As the cases for COVID-19 increase, mental health declines. So what can we do about it? Practice self-care.

What is self-care?

When you practice self-care, you make sure that your basic needs are met. This means you are aware of your physical and emotional needs and can act on them.

Everyone’s needs are different, so self-care can vary.

Self-care refers to the things you do to keep yourself happy and healthy. This defines the relationship you have with yourself.

How does self-care help?

Emotional awareness

Emotional awareness is the most basic aspect of self-care. Knowing what you need can help you apply self-care techniques to improve your situation.

If possible, try to become more aware of your emotions. You can do this by tracking your changing emotions in a journal.

After a period of time, analyze the patterns in your mood. Make the necessary changes in a healthy, safe way. This will help you improve your sense of well-being.

Self-care for the body and mind

Self-care means caring for your body and mind.

If you find yourself stuck at home, you might not be caring for your body the way you should be. If you repeatedly find yourself stressed-out and anxious, you might not be caring for your mind.

This is not your fault. And fortunately, there’s a lot of self-care techniques you can practice.

Improve your mental health by maintaining a basic routine that helps your sense of wellness. Get the proper amount of rest and sleep. Keep yourself busy and productive. Discuss your issues with a mental health professional.

Improve your physical health by adding more nutritious food to your diet. If possible, get some sun by going on brief walks. Do everything you can to practice a self-care routine that helps your body stay healthy.

By practicing these basic self-care routines, you may see an improvement on your physical and even mental health.

What does basic self-care look like for you?