HEALTH FIRST EXPERT: Simple Self-Care Tips to Help You Reset, Recharge

Self-care is a part of living a healthy and happy life

Taking time to care for ourselves not only benefits our emotions but reminds us to keep our mental health in check.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – These days, we’re hearing a lot about self-care – how it’s vital we all incorporate it into our own lives. However, do we know what it really means and why it’s important?

For starters, self-care isn’t too complicated and is exactly how it sounds – making sure we take care of ourselves. Although self-care hasn’t been a top priority until recently during the pandemic, we should always ensure we integrate it into our everyday well-being.

“Self-care is a part of living a healthy and happy life, and it incorporates our physical care, psychological care, emotional care, spiritual care, personal care and professional care,” said Toni Stephens, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Health First’s Behavioral Wellness Intensive Outpatient Program.

It’s been tough during the pandemic to prioritize our mental health needs. Everything’s changed for our way of life. With masking, social distancing and quarantining when exposed to COVID-19, safety is at the forefront every day.

Don’t Have to Break the Bank

But now is the time to get back to a self-care routine that doesn’t break the bank. There are many activities in our community that are at little to no cost.

“Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant, with a fancy dinner, expensive weekend or costly shopping spree,” Stephens said.

“There are several methods you can try at home or out with family and friends who look forward to self-caring together.”

If finding the resources is difficult for you, there’s no need to worry – we’ve got you covered with a few suggestions that can fit any family budget.

■ Walking and biking: Get outdoors to lift your spirits – and get your daily activity in, too.
■ Yoga: Not only is it good for the mind by mentally focusing on postures and poses, but it’s also a great way to get in shape. Just google some poses online or find a free yoga video on YouTube.
■ Listening to uplifting music: A good tune can bring you back to a happy memory. And research suggests music can improve your ability to focus, boost mental health and enhance your immune system. It can also kick up your self-esteem and confidence.
■ Beach outing: Walk along the shore and soak up your surroundings. Just listening to the ocean waves alone can be soothing.
■ Read a book: There’s nothing like getting lost in a story that’s not your own. According to an article in Psychology Today, reading fiction in particular can increase empathy, social skills and inter-personal understandings. Autobiographies about mental health struggles can help build a sense of resilience by allowing you to connect with someone whose struggles are similar to your own.
■ Arts and crafts: Painting or drawing, sewing or woodworking – creating can lower mental distress and increase happiness.
■ Take a day drive or day trip: Recharge by exploring areas outside of your everyday circle. Seeing new things can help reinvigorate the mind.
■ Go on a picnic: Unplug and unwind in a park – and enjoy a bite to eat.
■ Be in nature: There’s something soothing about getting back to basics and enjoying the sounds and sights of the outdoors. Check out a walking trail or wildlife refuge to appreciate the simple things.” n

Learn more at HF.org/behavioralwellness, or call 321.434.7604.

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