At PsyMood we believe in a strong sense of community as our diverse cultural backgrounds have taught us and at this love filled time of year we can appreciate that even more. However, this year in the spirit of Valentine’s Day we want to focus on the importance of self love and how you can practice self care in five simple steps.
*Trigger Warning – this article mentions issues surrounding body dysmorphia*
Set Healthy Boundaries
Self love means putting yourself first when you know it’s for the benefit of your mental health. You cannot give to everyone but yourself, as you will quickly find your own energy and zest for life dwindling. Setting healthy boundaries can be beneficial in a number of ways. This may involve ensuring you don’t overwork yourself and lose your social life to your job. To set healthy boundaries at work you could turn off your email notifications when you’re out of the office or make sure to take a lunch break to rest and reset. In your personal life, boundaries are also very important. Although family and friends can offer a support system in times of need, we often feel obligations to them no matter what we are going through personally. It is important to remember to set boundaries as you cannot help others if you do not care for yourself first. This could include giving yourself the first and last waking hour of your day, staying off your phone and taking part in personal self care. Or not attending social gatherings when you feel it will only drain your energy.
Buy into Self-Care
What do we mean when we say self care? It is the time you take to look after your needs, putting yourself first so you can flourish in all aspects of your life. Self care could be taking a bath after a long day, shutting off from the world and reading a good book. It could also be ensuring you get your daily exercise to stay healthy, breathe in fresh air and focus on your personal fitness goals. Self care looks different to everyone so do what works for you, but remember self care and indulgence are not the same thing and it is important to know what is healthy for you.
Create a Routine
There is a reason why at PsyMood we recognize routine setting as an essential aspect to implement on your road to good mental health. Historically, psychological studies have recognized the importance of routine to the human psyche. Whether a routine to you means ensuring you go to bed on time so you are well rested and have a good night sleep or that you take rest time from social media and screens at the same time everyday, to become present in the moment. There are many different aspects to a routine that can alleviate your stresses, just try out the one that works best for you.
Sometimes the ones we are most cruel to are ourselves. Although you are the only person you are guaranteed to spend time with, you may experience periods or episodes of self loathing. This could be passively disliking the way you look or actively putting yourself down in any aspect of your life. It is essential to remember that your job to yourself is to be your biggest cheerleader, not critic. Positive affirmations are a great way to change your mindset and practice self love. This could start simply with writing down the things you love about yourself, what makes you proud to be you or the things you’re grateful for and reading them aloud. When you begin to speak positively about yourself, you work gradually towards changing your one perception and mindset about how you view yourself.
Take a Digital Detox
Now more than ever we are glued to our phones and/or computers, whether it’s to contact our friends and family, search for information or to consume content. However, one of the biggest causes of low moods particularly in Gen Z and Millennials is ‘doom scrolling’. Doom scrolling describes the tendency to aimlessly scroll through social media or news on your phone/computer passively which results in negative feelings whether this is towards yourself, experiencing the fear of missing out, or due to the reports of continuous bad news. It is important to take time every day, as an act of self care, to shut off from your device, social media and bad news. A great way to implement this into your routine is to start with shutting off your device for the first and last hour of your waking day.
PsyMood has over 350 therapists, counsellors, and mental health professionals that offer a range of services and delivered in your chosen native language with your cultural background in mind. We are continually growing with specialists from new countries that practice alternate therapeutic approaches every day.
PsyMood prides itself on providing online and affordable diverse mental health support for newcomers to Canada by matching our users to mental health specialists that understand their culture and speak their native language. You can start your FREE no-obligation introductory session today.