Hi everyone! My name is Caty and I’m passionate about self-care and how people cope with their mental health.
If you’re unfamiliar with self-care, it is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health.
Mental self-care is relaxing, stimulating and developing your mind. Take time to rest and recharge your mind by meditating or listening to music. Exercise your mind by reading fiction books, listening to podcasts, and practicing an instrument. Allow your mind to grow by learning a new language, reading non-fiction books, and trying a new hobby.
Emotional self-care focuses on taking care of your emotions. This might be creating boundaries and saying no, as well as allowing yourself to accept compliments. Eradicate negative emotions by practicing healthy coping mechanisms and writing affirmations for yourself. Distance yourself from draining and toxic people. Bring yourself peace and happiness by taking a nature walk and visiting someone you care about.
Movement, nutrition and sleep are the three main components of physical self-care. Try to move your body for at least 30 minutes a day; go for a run, ride your bike, or plan an exercise routine with friends to hold each other accountable. Make sure you provide your body with nutritious food and regular meals. Check out our blog post about eating well and its benefits to your mental health! Lastly, try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, consider limiting your screen time at least 1 hour before bed, as the blue light from your phone disrupts your circadian rhythm.
What I personally love about self-care is that nobody’s self-care routine looks alike. Every Sunday, over the next 3 months, I will be sharing with you how each of our youth board members practice self-care. I hope that it offers you ideas on how you can practice self-care, and most of all, remembering to make your physical, emotional, and mental health a priority in your life.
Kaylee is a nursing student in Oregon and is passionate about advocating for everyone’s mental health. Kaylee shared with me, “some things I find to be super helpful when I’m stressed are to remove myself. I take a 15 minute break from whatever it is, put my phone down, and distract myself. I love to go running if I have the time too!”
I think it’s a great idea to take a 15 minute break from what is causing you stress. For Kaylee and many others, running is a great stress reliever. If you’re not too keen on running, perhaps take a moment outside to enjoy the nature around you. If you’re looking for new music recommendations, definitely check out Kaylee’s self-care artists.
Thank you for sharing your heart with us Kaylee!
Sam co-founded Z-Cares with her parents in honor of her brother Zachary. Currently, she plays lacrosse with Whittier College and is studying psychology. Sam adds, “Something that has helped me so much is talking to others, I used to never talk about how I feel and I would keep things so bottled up. Once I started talking to people more and being more open I felt so much better, it’s almost like a weight is lifting off my shoulders.”
I couldn’t agree more with reaching out to your friends, family or a therapist to talk about how you’re feeling. Sharing your anxiety and stress with a professional is a great way to learn about how you can cope. If you can’t afford a therapist, or you’re not in a position to seek professional help, Z-Cares has a list of resources in this blog post.
Remember it’s okay to feel anxious, overwhelmed, and depressed. You are not alone in your journey.
Josh is our Z-Cares app developer! His self-care is very active and physical. He also shares, “Something I do that is helpful for my mental health is every night before I go to bed, I turn my lights off, open my window, and just sit on my bed listening to music for like 20 minutes.”
Josh’s self-care activities are great examples of physical self-care. Getting your body active is an important thing to remember if you’re sitting in front of your computer doing homework all day.
Taking a moment to unwind before bed is a great idea– it can also be a way for you to limit your screen time before you go to sleep.