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Mental Health First Aid 10 Ways to Take Action- Day 6

By Patti Joubert

Practicing Self-Care

Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to

reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress and

increase happiness. Self-care does not need to be time-consuming

or expensive. It’s up to you – choose practices that make you feel

refueled (culinary self-care, anyone?). Americans participating in

a December 2020 national survey cited benefits of self-care like

enhanced self-confidence (64%), increased productivity (67%)

and happiness (71%). From a physical health perspective, self-care also reduces heart disease, stroke and


Self-Care can be creating a daily yoga workout routine, or going for a morning run. If you are not physically inclined in this way, perhaps learn meditation, or some healthy culinary skills. Some of the keys to good mental health are a good night’s sleep, a healthy diet, and reducing stress. Going to bed at the same time every night helps to create a good nighttime routine. If you find it difficult to fall asleep at a certain time, or to relax, try an app like Calm which has app led meditation sessions and nighttime relaxation sounds. A healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring or just salads. With today’s access to recipes, cooking classes and a variety of ingredients from around the world, eating healthy can be adventurous and fun. Challenge yourself to new tastes and new flavors. Ever try starfruit? Or spaghetti squash? Reducing stress can be accomplished in many ways. Exercise is just one way. Try a deep soak in a hot bubble bath, or relax in a comfy chair with a good book. Go for a long walk at a nature preserve or at the beach. This all really depends on what you find relaxing. Or fun. Start a hobby, do a puzzle, or bake some cookies. Healthy ones-you know the ones with the diet chocolate chips. LOL Another highly recommended all around de-stressor, a pet. A dog is a great pet because dogs also need to go for walks so you get a friend, and an exercise buddy. Cats are great for companionship and cuddles. I went the cat route. I love cats and have 8 rescue, spoiled babies. My niece lives alone so she has a dog. It’s all your own preference.

That beautiful calico is Beatrice Lucille. She is 11 years old and came to my family when my husband found her abandoned at 4 weeks old. He has PTSD and she sits on his lap, keeps him company and keeps him calm. She has been his shadow for all these 11 years.

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