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Self-care for mental health: Practical tips for a happier life

The belief is that self-care is not a luxury but a fundamental pillar that supports overall wellness and in the fast-paced world of business, prioritising mental health and well-being is crucial, playing a pivotal role in shaping every aspect of personal and professional lives. Mental health should not be isolated from work lives but should be integrated as a fundamental influencer of decisions and outcomes.

Self-care for mental health: Practical tips for a happier life (Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Ritu Mehrotra, Founder and CEO of United We Care , shared, “The argument is that self-care is essential for achieving a happier and healthier life, asserting that it is not a selfish act but an act of self-preservation. Leaders, according to this perspective, have a responsibility to create an environment where self-care is not only encouraged but celebrated, as the benefits include reduced burnout, increased productivity, and a thriving workforce. Highlighting the prevalence of mental illness, the suggestion is that ignoring one’s emotional needs and mental peace only exacerbates the problem. As someone deeply involved in the mental wellness space, the emphasis is on the value of balance in life and the importance of taking daily moments to reconnect with oneself for sustained success and personal well-being. This equilibrium in work, life, and self-care is believed to not only benefit the individual but also fuel innovation and resilience.”

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She added, “Individuals are called upon to invest in themselves, as doing so will ultimately benefit everyone. There is a focus on the transformative power of technology and AI solutions in the mental health landscape, offering premium resources and AI-driven tools to support individuals and teams in navigating the complexities of modern life while maintaining mental wellness. The encouragement is for a paradigm shift where self-care is prioritized, and individuals embark on a journey toward a happier and healthier life. Leading by example and reshaping the definition of success is seen as the way forward.”

Echoing that self-care can seem like a luxury we can’t afford in the fast-paced and modern world, Sidhharrth S Kumaar, Chief Happiness Officer at NumroVani, asserted, “Neglecting self-care can lead to a loss in mental health, yet the two are inextricably linked. Self-care is a vital tool for promoting a happy life, and with practical advice and tactics, it can be woven into the fabric of our daily lives. Self-care and mental health is an age-old fact that prevention is always better than cure and self-care is an essential component of preventive and proactive care. Mental health is a condition of well-being in which a person may fulfil their potential, manage everyday stressors, work well and give back to their community. It is not merely the absence of mental illness. By protecting our mental health from the waves of stress and uncertainty, self-care serves as a lifesaver.”

He suggested the following practical tips for a happier life:

Every human being is comprised of three important paradigms i.e. Mind, Body and Soul. This unique composition of human beings makes everyone unique and different from one another. One should personalise the self-care ritual based on mind, body and soul. One such method of personalisation can be designed based on traditional knowledge systems such as Ayurveda, Astrology among others.

A good night’s sleep is essential to mental health. It’s when the body heals itself, the mind reviews what it learned that day, the soul connects to the cosmic universe and emotions are processed. Inadequate or disrupted sleep can cause mental fatigue, irritation, and an exaggerated reaction to stress by leaving the mind’s complex functions unfinished. Regularly getting good sleep can act as a protective barrier against the ups and downs of mental instability..

  • Declutter your mind and space

If we pour tap water into the glass, it acquires the shape of the glass and, if we pour the same water into the bowl, it will change its shape and acquire the shape of the bowl. Similarly, the environment (space) wherein one lives impacts our wellbeing especially mental wellbeing and self-care rituals must include proper space management as well. Decluttering is a self-care process that has advantages that go well beyond the visual attractiveness of having a tidy house or office.

  • Practise gratitude and forgiveness

Gratitude and forgiveness practices can be life-changing steps on the path to mental health. These methods have their roots deep in the rich soil of emotional freedom, personal development, and psychological resilience. Accepting thankfulness means adopting a perspective on life that makes the good things in it bigger and the bad things smaller. The goal of forgiveness is to set oneself free from the corrosive bitterness that can destroy inner serenity, not to support cruel behaviour.

  • Channelise your emotions (Energy in Motion)

Emotions are ‘Energy in Motion’ and stopping their free flow is detrimental to mental wellbeing. Self-care rituals must incorporate a practice which takes care of emotions and journaling can be a great way for the same. Your mental health self-care toolset should include affirmations and manifestations. Including these methods in your daily life is like training your brain to think in a certain way; doing so can have a profound impact on your state of mind. One can also take help of crystals and other gifts of nature to boost and reprogram the subconscious mind.

Bringing her expertise to the same Prakriti Poddar, Global Head – Mental Health and Wellbeing at Roundglass Living app, recommended, “To lead a happier life, you need to learn to dissociate happiness from mindless consumption and chasing society-approved goals. True and lasting happiness comes from within. It comes from knowing that you are healthy in your body and mind, that you are contributing to your community and living in harmony with nature. This self-realisation leads to lasting joy, contentment, and good health. How do you reach this self-realization? By practising self-care, which means prioritizing your health and wellbeing. You take care of your mind and body by eating healthy, sleeping well, exercising daily, taking regular breaks from work, and cultivating social connections. All these collectively nurture your wellbeing and make you more centred and emotionally resilient.”

She advised some wellbeing practices and healthy habits –

  • Mindfulness and meditation: By cutting through the clutter and chaos of thoughts, meditation makes the mind clearer, calmer, and sharper. Studies have established that regular practice of meditation can alleviate stress, improve our relationships with others and help us sleep better.
  • Focus on breath: Remember to breathe, to take a pause. New research shows that certain breathing techniques can help induce more positive emotional states, improve mental acuity, and optimize performance. Try 4-7-8 breathing technique for stress reduction.
  • Gratitude: Acknowledging and appreciating the gifts you receive and counting your blessings is a powerful positive emotion. People who practise gratitude experience a host of benefits including a stronger immune system and higher levels of positive emotions. Don’t hold back — let your gratitude flow through your words, actions, and expressions.
  • Movement: Physical exercise can help you experience greater wellbeing and happiness. Staying active throughout the day – by exercising, doing chores, helping others and more – relives stress, keeps your mind occupied and helps reduce anxiety leading to a more positive state of mind.
  • Self-compassion: It pays to be kind to your own self. Research shows being kind to your own self is associated with greater optimism and happiness. Don’t shy from expressing your emotions and asking for help when you need it. Choose from any number of authentic digital tools and resources available today that offer credible care and help.
  • Foster social connections: Cultivating a large social circle and taking active part in our community has been linked to lower levels of anxiety and depression, and greater empathy.

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