Depending on who you are and how you identify with the culture around you, you might have a difficult time embracing the idea of selfcare or taking care of your mental health. And that can make it really difficult to function correctly, especially if you frequently feel like you don’t have enough time for everything you would like to accomplish or you don’t like yourself very much.
However, selfcare and learning how to love yourself doesn’t have to be as much about your spirituality or healing crystals as social media can make it appear sometimes. I know that it can be a little difficult to imagine for some, but selfcare is actually quite practical and necessary for ongoing energy and productivity.
Some might appreciate calling it “self-maintenance” or something else altogether instead of using some more popular phrases, and that’s okay! As long as you aren’t toxic to others about how they choose to take care of their physical and mental health, and as long as you’re putting in the effort to take care of yourself as well, there’s not much potential for significant harm.
Keeping Yourself From Getting Overworked
Believe it or not, you aren’t a machine, and you shouldn’t have to act like one. And even if you were a machine, most machines aren’t really capable of working around the clock. This is mainly because machines can overheat and shorten their overall lifespan or productivity, or they can break down altogether and stop working.
If even machines are at risk of being overworked, that means that you are too. So if you have a tendency to forget to set aside time for yourself to relax, remind yourself that even robots and complicated machines need breaks and proper maintenance in order to function for their projected lifespans.
This means that you will need to actually schedule some relaxation time for yourself, as well as that that relaxation should be more than just the few hours you give yourself to sleep at night.
Give yourself some downtime to play video games, listen to music, take a bath, or to just turn off your brain from the hard work you put yourself through, and your body and mind will appreciate it in the long term.
If you’re anything like me, learning how to love yourself in your diet can be pretty difficult. At least for me, this was especially the case whenever I was working on multiple projects at once and didn’t think I had enough time to get myself some nourishing meals.
Instead, I would just get myself whatever food I could get my hands on the most quickly, rather than cooking or waiting a little extra time to get something that would be better fuel for my brain and body.
Whether it’s work, school, or a personal passion project, it’s vital to learn how to love yourself with your food. And while it might not always be possible to get in all the recommended servings of vegetables into your diet every day, it would be beneficial to your body if you tried to get good food in there a little more often.
Sticking with the robot analogy, cars will generally be created with a particular kind of fuel in mind, whether that’s diesel or some particular grade of gasoline. Simply, these kinds of fuel will just burn the best and give your car’s engine its longest possible life. This means that, just like there’s a best kind of fuel for your car, there’s also a better kind of diet for you.
Whatever that is keeping you from taking care of yourself, I can bet that part of the reason your mental health is feeling lower is that you aren’t taking the adequate time or actions in order to properly congratulate yourself on your accomplishments.
Some people I know like to give themselves a ten to 15-minute break for every hour of work they’ve completed. Others will go out for dinner with their friends every time they complete a major project.
I used to skip right over the part of a project or assignment where I would actually congratulate myself for all of the hard work I had done and all of the successes I had accomplished over the past week, month, or however long something would take me to complete.
And while some of these were academic or work-related goals, sometimes that would also mean that I would skip over any personal successes.
However, time has taught me that congratulating yourself, even when or if there’s still a lot more work to be done, gives you a lot more staying power and actually allows you to complete more work than you thought you were able to. It actually pays off to learn how to love yourself! That is a little difficult to believe for some, but it’s generally true.