Why Self-Care Is Not Selfish and How It Can Help Your Mental Health

August 11, 2020 5 min read

Why Self-Care Is Not Selfish and How It Can Help Your Mental Health

Brad Kraus Self Care

Many of us climb as a way to unwind, be present, and help us through difficult times. But even our favorite hobbies and sports can change gears and become stressful. We may start to push ourselves beyond our limits; or get tunnel vision, forgetting about taking care of our bodies and our minds, only focusing on getting to the next grade.

Now more than ever, with the Coronavirus crisis, and stay-at-home orders, it is so important we take care of our mental health. With everything that is going on in the world, we are all experiencing new anxieties. With most of us not being able to climb at all or as often as we used to, it’s time wecheck in with our most honest selves. At Dynamite Starfish, we want to keep the door open when it comes to talking about mental health, and today we wanted to share with you this great article from guest contributor Brad Kraus about self-care and some ways you can take care of yourself every day.

 

Why Self-Care Is Not Selfish and How It Can Help Your Mental Health

You've likely heard the term "self-care" thrown around every now and then. The term has become quite popular among social media influencers, yet while it may seem like the concept of self-care is a fleeting trend, self-care is more than that. In fact, when you take the time to take care of yourself (and your sanity), chances are you will see a noticeable difference in your life.

In today's world, it seems like everyone is busy. So what can you do to invigorate, refresh, and improve your mental health? Take a look at a few ideas (including taking advantage of technology) that can make a drastic change in your day-to-day life.

Keep A Journal

Writing down your thoughts may seem like a fruitless concept, but keeping a journal can actually improve your mental health.  In addition to making you more conscious of your day-to-day activities, NBC News explains that journaling can increase yourproductivity. The more productive you are, the more accomplished you will feel. It’s a chance to sort ideas and concerns as well, thereby alleviating stress. 

You don't have to keep a traditional diary. Journal the way that works for you.Bullet journals are a popular option for organizing, or you can try aguided journal to track tasks and show off your creative side.

A journal with a thoughtful prompt or message, like this From Chaos Comes New Growth journal can also help you get into the flow.

Get active

Incorporating physical activity has long been associated with mental health, whether you’re running, cycling, orclimbing. But finding the motivation to do so is often the most difficult task. Business Insider suggests that there are four differentpersonality types and they each influence how we are motivated. For example, upholders respond to internal demands. They are more likely to respond to personal goals. 

If you are an upholder, try a fitness tracker or smartwatch which have real-time stats to help you stay on track toward your objectives. Some models even have emergency features like fall detection. 

On the other hand, obligers respond to external motivation. Scheduling a weekly class where your attendance is expected can move you to show up. Not only will it increase your motivation to attend the class, but group classes can increase your motivation in class. One Medicallists some apps you can use to find fitness classes near you. Think about your personality type and find the motivator that will fit, so you can enjoy optimal mental and physical health.

Questioners and rebels tend to resist the rules, and need to pursue objectives on their own terms. Climbing is a great activity for them because there are so many different styles of climbing and paths you can pursue as a climber.

Don't ignore sleep

People have a tendency to ignore the need for sleep. However, Sleep.org explains most adults need betweenseven to nine hours of slumber each night. Any less than that can not only affect your sanity but your physical health as well.
There are many reasons people do not get enough sleep. For some people, it's a matter of finding time. Life can become busy. Between taking care of the kids, cooking, working, and housework, it can be a struggle to make it to bed before 11 before having to get up by 5. For other people, it's not about the time, but rather being able to get to sleep. 

If you have trouble getting to sleep, there are steps that you can take to improve your sleep patterns. Getting to sleep may be as simple as getting in the right mindset. Try devoting30 minutes each night to getting ready for bed. This may mean taking a relaxingbath, curling up with agood book, or listening to soothing music. Turn off screens a few hours before bed if you can. According to bettersleep.org, blue light can boost our attention and reaction times, but inhibits our melatonin production. Using a red or orange light at night can raise your melatonin production and help you sleep better. 

You can also modify your bedroom so that it’s more sleep friendly. Paint your bedroom a soothing color, remove bright lighting, and invest in a white noise machine. If you want to go all out, you could also install hardwood flooring instead of carpeting, as carpet isknown to collect dust and allergens which can interfere with sleep.

Decorating your home with art that soothes and uplifts is also a good way to reduce stress in your day. If you like Dynamite Starfish art, check out these art prints for your home. Do what you can to create a welcoming and calming space that you feel at ease in.

Self-care is more than just a trend — it's an important component of good mental health. It’s not about being selfish, it's about realizing that you can't be there for those around you unless you are healthy and happy yourself. Take the time to do an accounting of what your self-care routine looks like. Don't be afraid to do something for yourself. When you take the time to focus on self-care, you'd be amazed at the difference it makes. 

This article was written by Brad Kraus, with minor edits from the Dynamite Starfish team.

What are the ways you practice Self-Care?

Share them with us in the comments below, or on Instagram @dynamitestarfish.

Check out some products we recommend at Dynamite Starfish: 

A blank journal to house your thoughts:

From Chaos Comes New Growth — Blank Journal

White noise machine for better sleep:

Color changing light bulbs to increase melatonin production:

 

Leslie Kim
Leslie Kim


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