(Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio at pexels.com; the image is at this link and was supplied by the author of this article. Used without modification under Creative Commons Licence)
[Darshan’s Note: I started this website a few years ago because I felt that at the time, there wasn’t enough space in Canada’s media-scape for independent voices. While platforms like Substack have emerged recently, there is still a large unmet need for these spaces. I am happy to contribute to filling this need in any small way that I can.
In this first Guest Column on my website, Brad Krause draws on his wealth of experience to offer simple yet powerful self-help tips to help us preserve our physical and mental health. His advice couldn’t have been more timely, given the existing (and developing) circumstances in Canada. I hope my readers will enjoy Brad’s writing and will provide as much encouragement to Brad as they have done so generously for me.
If anyone wants to have their work published, please reach out to me via the Contact page of my website, with a brief outline of their article, and I will do my utmost to help them reach my readers.]
5 Overlooked Self-Care Tips to Improve Your Mental Health
You know that self-care is important to prevent burnout and keep your mental and physical health in check. But what if you feel like you just don’t have the time for it? Here are five simple tips that will help you make self-care part of your daily routine.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Insomnia, sleeplessness, and chronic sleep deprivation lead to irritability, daytime sleepiness, a lack of energy, and problems with concentration and other cognitive functions. This is why it’s so important to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. So start by making sure you go to bed early enough in the evening to get a full night’s sleep before your alarm goes off in the morning. And if you have trouble falling asleep, come up with a bedtime routine that will help you doze off faster. Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol too close to bedtime, and find a nighttime activity that helps you unwind, such as yoga or meditation, before you retire for the night.
Take Time to Relax
Even when life keeps you extra busy, make sure to schedule time just for yourself. Instead of spending lunchtime seated at your desk, step away for a while and really enjoy your midday meal. Take a real lunch break and go to a nearby park, or at least to a different room with a view of the outdoors, where your mind can take a breather from work. At home, let go of the day’s worries and tensions by taking a warm bath or a luxurious shower, making a cup of your favorite tea, cuddling up with a good book, or watching your favorite show, and let the stress of the day melt away.
Reduce Your Daily Stress
Maintain a daily routine that helps you cope with life stressors. Carve out time to meditate, listen to music, journal, or practice an activity that helps you relax, like crossword puzzles or coloring. Make sure to get enough physical exercise during the week and to spend some time in the sunshine to boost your mood. And once in a while, take time for self-care by indulging in a massage that will soothe achy muscles, relieve tension and stiffness in your joints, and can even get rid of headaches.
Declutter Your Space
Clutter in your home or office can heighten your stress levels by making your life feel out of control, so spend some time cleaning up and organizing to regain your space and your sanity. And for the stuff you just can’t part with but want to keep out of sight, consider renting a storage space. And before purchasing any new products or gadgets that may end up re-cluttering your space, make sure to read honest reviews from users to get the best that money can buy.
Set Out on a New Career Path
If your day job has become unsatisfying or too stressful and leaves you dreading going to work, consider setting out on a new career path. You may be feeling nervous or anxious at first, but trying new things and being open to new experiences will help you move toward your goal. Take a class at your local community college, look for a mentor in your chosen field, or volunteer to start learning the ropes in a different business or industry, and start making a plan for a new and exciting career for yourself.
You don’t need to download the latest app to work on improving your mental health; there are many tried-and-true techniques to help you relax and reset. Make time for restorative sleep, reduce visual clutter, and pursue a career that will make you happy. By scheduling self-care into your everyday life, you’ll naturally become healthier.
About the author: Brad Krause left the corporate world to help promote the simple notion of self-care, through writing and consulting. Brad can be reached at https://selfcaring.info/
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author. Darshan Maharaja does not claim authorship to these, nor to the information offered in the article. This Guest Column is being published on darshanmaharaja.ca website purely in the interest of fostering independent voices in service of greater public participation in the debates about issues of concern to Canadians.)