Self-care and health benefits
This blogpost contains information on how to build a support team and also health benefits through self-care. Self-care is also not only for the young or old, it is for all ages. A few moments each day goes a long way. Self-care and health benefits is a blogpost for everyone concerned about self-care and mental health.
Who Should Be on Your Self Care Support Team?
A serious mistake that you should avoid when you’re getting started with self-care is trying to do it all alone. Even if you think that you’re going to be better off sorting things out yourself, you’re probably going to falter along the way and you’re going to want someone there who can help you.
Having support is key to having a successful self-care routine, but who you select can vary quite a bit. One common option for someone to help you with your self-care is your family.
They’re typically close, they know you, and they’re willing to help you and keep you accountable. Family can be such a great resource because they’re often very connected in your life, and can help take some of the stress off of you if you’re feeling overburdened.
Unfortunately, for many people, family isn’t an option. It could be because they’ve had a falling out, or because they’re distant, or any number of things. Another option then is a significant other.
Your partner can be such a great source of inspiration to keep going and should hopefully be able to provide any assistance they can. Apart from just providing love, they should also be able to provide care.
Of course, not everyone has a significant other in their life. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still form a support team. You can have people who you’ve hired as part of your support team, such as a therapist, life coach, or personal trainer.
All of these people care about your success and want to see you do well. Outsiders can provide new angles on life that you might not have considered before. They essentially provide an outsider perspective on your life.
Their advice and their thoughts come with years of professional training and a lot of personal experience, so you should be supported by them fairly well. However, it should be noted that a therapist, for example, can only effectively support you in their field of expertise – meaning that they’re not going to be giving a ton of great fitness advice.
Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to those around you who want to help. It’s hard going through things all alone. Humans are social animals. By allowing others to help you advance in life, you’re really going to take your self-care abilities to the next level.
Working on Your Body and Mind Has Immediate Health Benefits
If your health is something that you tend to struggle with, then self-help strategies can help you faster than you may have ever imagined. Something that may have put you off from starting a self-care routine is that you feel as though it’s going to take forever to see any notable results.
This is very similar to when you start a workout routine and then don’t feel as though you’re doing anything worthwhile. What you might not have realized is that by starting a self-care routine, you’re going to be seeing results almost immediately.
This isn’t to be confused with reaching your goals immediately, but you’re going to see progress nonetheless. This applies to your physical health as well as your mental health.
In terms of physical health, while there are immediate results, it might not always be something visible to you. For example, one of the best results you might not be able to see is a reduction in blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a very serious danger brought on by stress, and it can lead to heart problems and a variety of other issues that could be life threatening. By lowering your blood pressure, you’re helping your body immensely right off the bat – even if you can’t necessarily see it or feel it right away.
There are also many immediate mental health benefits that come along with starting a self-care routine. First, you’ll feel calm. This sounds very simple for some, but for others, this is a world of change.
To finally feel genuinely calm after you’ve been living in a world of stress for a long time is amazing. It can honestly be the first step towards turning your life around. Another mental health benefit you’ll feel almost immediately is a sense of accomplishment and worth.
If you’ve been putting off self-care for a long time now, finally taking the plunge and taking that first step is amazing. You feel empowered, as if you’re suddenly able to do things you thought were too difficult before. Combined with the calmness you’ll feel, it’ll be almost Zen-like.
Just because a lot of the benefits from self-care come with time doesn’t mean they all do. By starting sooner rather than later, you’re not only receiving all of those immediate benefits, but also building up a foundation that you’ll be able to use in the future as you nurture your own needs.
You Don’t Need to Hire a Professional for Self-Care
One aspect of self-care that often drives people away from it is the perceived cost of getting everything done for you. A large portion of that comes from this idea that you should be hiring people to help you in this process, which can end up being a substantial amount of money.
In reality, you don’t actually need to hire anybody in order to improve yourself. Everything can be done from the comfort of your own home for free. For example, you’d think that one of the most logical ways of improving your mental health would be with a counselor or therapist.
If you have access to a therapist, they can be a great deal of help, but don’t start thinking that this is the only way to talk things through with someone, or that it’s the only way to improve your mental health.
At home, you can find resources online to be able to talk to people and vent your frustrations or talk out your feelings for free. You can also use alternative methods of mental health care, such as meditation or finding a relaxing hobby to calm your nerves and reduce stress or anxiety.
It doesn’t require a professional to get good results in terms of your mental health. People seem to have this same notion when it comes to physical health. Somehow they get it in their heads that if they want to build a nice physique and get in shape, they need to hire a personal trainer because they don’t know what they’re doing.
In reality, that’s not true these days. On the internet, you can find readily available premade workout routines that are designed by professionals for free. You can even find guides on how to perform the exercises if you’re unsure.
If you want your body to be less sore and more limber, then you don’t need to go out and spend money at the spa or on a masseuse. By doing simple stretches, ice baths, and yoga on your own, you can quickly alleviate most types of bodily pain without having to break the bank by hiring a pro.
At the end of the day, don’t spend more than you need to on self-care. If you decide that you can and want to spend a little extra, that’s fine. But don’t think of it as a requirement. If you want to take care of yourself in all aspects, that can be done fairly easily and on any limited budget, too.
You’re Never Too Young or Too Old for Self-Care
A common excuse that you may use for just about any part of your life that you don’t feel like doing is that you’re out of the age range. Most often, people complain that they’re too old to start doing something, and therefore shouldn’t even try to start.
This has been applied to fitness, education, finding a certain job, and it’s definitely been applied to self-care. Some people run with the train of thought that tells them that since they’ve made it this far in life, why should they suddenly try to change things?
This is essentially the, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality, and in the context of self-care, it’s incorrect. You are never too old to start a self-care routine, and in fact, that might be a better time to start one if you haven’t already.
As you get older, you’re probably being put under more and more stress and gaining more responsibilities, increasing the chances of you needing a routine like this as you go on in life.
Bills, work and family
Having all the stress of bills, work, family, and so on can impact you severely, so just because you didn’t need a self-care routine a few years ago, it doesn’t mean you won’t need one now.
People also like to think that since younger people have so few stress factors in their lives, they shouldn’t even concern themselves with it. In fact, young people suffer from many stress factors, especially when they have tunnel vision and all they know is school.
School itself is a major source of stress, but so are bullying, making friends, having relationships, and trying to balance all of their commitments. Younger people could easily benefit from learning how to take care of themselves, because often times, they just let their problems run amok since they don’t really think that they can do anything about it.
By teaching younger people self-care early on, they can start to build a foundation for it that can last them the rest of their lives. By getting an early start on self-care, younger people are likely to be more stable and more confident in their own abilities.
This can make such a world of difference to someone who thinks that they’re not good enough or someone who’s stressed out about all these random things. There’s no real harm in doing it, but there are all kinds of benefits if they need them.
Erlend Sølvberg, wellness blogger
National Institute of Mental Health