Getting Started with Self-Care

Where can we start when we want to start with self-care?

The best place to start is with diet, sleep, and exercise.

It is impossible to understate how important these three things are to self-care and maintaining your mental health. For example, some research even suggests that diet, sleep and exercise can help minimize the effects of depression and anxiety disorders. The connection may have to do with the fact that all three have an influence on regulating brain chemistry. Finally, when it comes to these “big three” it can be helpful to recognize that they all influence each other. In other words, the more you exercise the better your sleep will be. And vice versa.

After you address those, the conversation can get much more creative and open-ended. You can ask a question along the lines of:

If I woke up tomorrow morning full of energy and I realized I had the entire day to myself, how could I spend it?

The “full of energy” part is important. Something doesn’t have to be relaxing to be self-care. For example, perhaps gardening is an act of self-care. It is exhausting, and can be hard on the knees. But, it you can leave feeling mentally and emotionally energized.

What makes you feel full of life?

Think about the last 6 months of your life. When did you feel most energized and alive? Was it when you were traveling? Practicing a hobby? Hanging out with a certain group of people? Volunteering with an organization?

Take some time to think about that today!

Written by: GROW Staff