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  • Dr. Teresa Edwards, LMFT

Self-Care: A Mental Health Prescription

Self-care is a critical component of well-being, but it has become more important than ever in todays world. With technology overriding natural boundaries in work-life balance and stress levels on the rise, taking care of oneself has become essential.


What is Self-Care?

Self-care encompasses the intentional practice of taking care of one’s physical, emotional, and mental health. It’s not about random spa days and bubble baths, although those can be included, but it’s a holistic approach to self-compassion. It’s about getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating well, setting healthy boundaries, and practicing stress-management techniques such as deep breathing and healthy self-talk. Moreover, it’s making time for things that bring joy and fulfillment in life, like hobbies, spirituality, friends, and family. Self-care involves structuring your life in a manner that empowers you to give priority to activities that preserve your optimal mental, emotional, and physical well-being.


Self-care exercise with friends

The Benefits of Self-Care.

Self-care can improve overall health and well-being. By taking care of yourself, you can reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, improve sleep quality, and avoid lifestyle-related illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.


In addition to physical health benefits, self-care can also improve emotional and mental well-being. When you prioritize self-care, you can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, increase motivation, boost self-esteem, and improve overall mood. Self-care can also help build resilience and encourage coping skills, which can be invaluable when facing life’s challenges.


Implementing Self-Care

Implementing a self-care routine can be challenging, especially for people with an already busy life or those with a natural care-giver personality who tend to put everyone else ahead of themselves. However, the effort is well worth it.

Small but consistent steps can make a significant difference. For example, taking a short walk during the workday, meditating or journaling before bed, spending time in nature, or setting aside time for a hobby every week can all contribute to an enhanced sense of wellbeing. Self-care routines are also something that couples can implement together. Then self-care time becomes time for couples to connect as well.


Self-Care Prescription

Self-care matters now more than ever, and it’s essential to prioritize it in daily life. Self-care is not selfish or indulgent; it’s an important component of overall health and happiness. It is taking responsibility for your welfare and taking proactive steps to achieve physical, mental, and emotional health.


You can’t give your best to others if you aren’t doing what it takes to be the best version of yourself. By making self-care a part of your routine, you can be the best version of yourself and live your best life. So, my prescription for your mental health today is to implement a self-care routine that allows you to give to others out of your abundance.

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