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Self-Care & Mental Wellness – The Top Five Self-Care Practices That Improve Mental Wellness

Written by: Dr. Denise Moore Revel, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

May, Mental Health Awareness Month, provides you with a unique opportunity to focus on an aspect of your life that is often overlooked: your mental wellness. In the whirlwind of our modern lives, stress, anxiety, and burnout can seem like unavoidable companions. However, incorporating simple self-care practices into your daily routines can significantly enhance your mental health and overall well-being. Before you delve into these practices, assess the current state of your stress level. Click here to take a comprehensive stress assessment, helping you better understand your current condition and empowering you to take meaningful steps towards self-improvement.

woman practicing yoga at the lake

In honoring Mental Health Awareness Month, it is crucial for you to recognize the undeniable connection between your physical habits and your mental state. Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, mindfulness meditation, adequate sleep, and strong social connections are not just buzzwords—they are powerful practices that can profoundly enhance your mental wellness. As individuals, we can often underestimate the impact of these daily practices. However, it is through these small, consistent steps that you can begin to effect real, lasting change in your mental health. These practices are a testament to the idea that taking care of your body goes hand in hand with taking care of your mind. Let's explore each of these practices further and see how you can implement them effectively into your daily routines.


1. Embracing Regular Exercise


One of the most profound changes I have made in my life is incorporating regular physical activity into my routine. The rush of endorphins that accompanies exercise has become my natural antidote to stress. You do not need to be a fitness fanatic to experience the benefits, even simple activities like brisk walking or light jogging can significantly contribute to enhancing your mood and mental wellness.


Action Steps:

  • Schedule a regular workout time that fits your daily routine. Try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

  • Choose activities you enjoy. You will be more likely to stick with an exercise routine if you find it enjoyable.

  • If you cannot find a large block of time for exercise, break it up into shorter sessions throughout the day.

2. Committing to Nutritious Eating


I have found that feeding my body with a balanced diet is not just about maintaining physical health, it is also an essential part of mental wellness. Foods rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provide your brain with the crucial nutrients it needs to function optimally. The connection between your diet and state of mind has become clearer with time, reinforcing the importance of mindful eating is not just your body, but your mind as well.


Action Steps:

  • Plan your meals ahead of time. Planning can help you avoid resorting to less healthy convenience foods.

  • Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains in your diet.

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

“Take care of your body. It is the only place you have to live in." Jim Rohn

3. Mindfulness Meditation


Practicing mindfulness, focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, can reduce your stress and anxiety, improve your focus, and boost your overall mood.


Action Steps:

  • Dedicate a specific time each day for mindfulness practice. Even just a few minutes can make a difference.

  • Focus on your breath, sensations in your body, or a specific word or phrase. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your point of focus.

  • Consider using a guided meditation app or online video to help you get started.

4. Adequate Sleep


I have learned that chronic sleep deprivation is a surefire way to drain my mental energy. A regular sleep schedule, a comfortable sleeping environment, and a relaxing bedtime routine can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep—and consequently, your mental wellness.


Action Steps:

  • Set a consistent sleep schedule, aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

  • Create a relaxing pre-sleep routine, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing light stretching.

  • Avoid screens close to bedtime, as the light can interfere with your sleep.

5. Social Connections


As a social being, maintaining positive relationships with friends, family, or members of the community can drastically boost your mood and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.


Action Steps:

  • Reach out to friends and family regularly. Even a quick text or phone call can help strengthen your relationships.

  • Get involved in community activities or clubs that interest you.

  • Consider volunteering. Helping others can also boost your own mental wellness.


"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." Audre Lorde

While these are the practices that have worked best for me, the journey towards mental wellness is highly personal. What will work best for you depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and circumstances.


For a deeper insight into your own mental wellness journey, I strongly recommend taking the stress assessment. This comprehensive tool will help you understand your stress levels, identify triggers, and provide personalized recommendations to improve your mental wellness. This is not just another stress test. It is a step towards a healthier, happier you. Remember, self-care is not a luxury, it is a necessity.


To get started, click here to take the Stress Assessment. Empower yourself to take control of your mental health. You are worth the time, the effort, and the care. Remember, your journey to mental wellness begins with a single step, and there is no better time to take that step than now.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Dr. Denise Moore Revel, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Denise Moore Revel, PhD is a Thought Leader, Best-selling Author and Personal Development coach. She built a career and business in Speech-Language Therapy before realizing she had more to offer when it came to helping others use their voice. This revelation inspired her to become the CEO and founder of the Own Your Amazing Movement (OYA). OYA is a movement that speaks to women who are looking for the perfect balance of happiness and success in their lives. Dr. Denise helps her clients discover their personal power beyond their job title and accolades to achieve a fulfilling life beyond their wildest dreams.

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