You may have heard of self-care, but do you know why self-care is so important? Especially today, mental health awareness is so important and necessary for others to learn about. The sad truth is most of you aren’t getting the mental health care you need, and that’s why learning and talking about it is more necessary than ever in the past. It can affect you not only mentally, but also physically and emotionally. It’s essential to recognize your limits and make sure you are setting aside time to do self-care. Here are five reasons why it is so important.
1. It’s More Common Than You May Think
Mental illness is so common that over 50% of Americans experience it in their lives. With an illness so common, there should be more awareness and education on it. These illnesses affect your day-to-day lives, including how you cope and how you handle relationships. These can directly impact how you are influenced by school and work, therefore it’s important as a society to acknowledge and accommodate your mental health.
2. It Affects Your Overall Health
Believe it or not, mental illness can affect your physical health as well as your emotional and social. Mental illnesses, such as depression, can cause serious health complications such as strokes, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Dr. Ramani Durvasula wrote a book called You Are Why You Eat, along with more great books and peer-reviewed journal articles, that address how your physical health is important to your mental health. It can also cause other mental issues, like memory loss and exhaustion.
3. It Can Develop Over Time
Even if you were once mentally healthy, it can easily change over time. This can be caused by several things, including working long hours, dealing with unhealthy relationships, and anything else that is mentally exhausting for a long period of time. While some mental illnesses develop from childhood trauma, they can also develop in adulthood when you are pushed past your ability to cope. It can also stem from loneliness, physical conditions (such as cancer), alcohol usage, or even just biological factors.
4. Quality of Life
Your quality of life can diminish drastically if you don’t take care of yourself mentally. When your mental health is getting worse, you usually don’t have the energy to have fun with your friends, excel at work, or even take care of yourself. It gets really exhausting to do simple things like brushing your hair or taking a shower. It can really affect not only how you feel, but also your life as a whole. Taking care of yourself mentally can truly affect your overall ability to realize your potential and quality of life.
5. Taking Care of Your Mental Health is Fun!
Mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety, can make self-care more difficult for some. Sometimes therapy and medications are necessary, but recovery from these illnesses is possible. Even if not full recovery, you can learn to cope and work with these obstacles. It’s not always easy, but once you are able to prioritize your health and mentality, you can live a more fun and relaxing life. If it’s a morning jog, an evening bath, or even just brushing your hair, you should make goals daily on how you want to prioritize your mental health and make sure you never over-exceed what you are able to do.
Mental health is never a “one size fits all” deal. Sometimes it does take outside interventions to even realize you may have an issue. But if you find yourself having difficulty getting out of bed, doing basic self-care tasks, or texting back to your friends and family, you probably need to ask yourself if you’ve been pushing yourself too hard and if you’ve been meeting your needs mentally. It can be even more hard depending on a variety of circumstances, but mental health is a very important and necessary priority in your lives. To ensure you are meeting your mental health needs try to take an hour or two out of your hectic schedule to paint a picture, go grab drinks with your friend, or even read a book. Make sure you are prioritizing your mental health every day!