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Rest, Relax & Restore: How to Improve Your Mental Health Through Self-Care

When most people think of their health, they probably think about caring for their physical bodies through diet and exercise. However, it’s crucial not to overlook the importance of mental health. Our minds and bodies are connected. As UC Berkeley’s Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., told, “Many negative emotions such as anger, fear, and frustration become problematic when those emotions turn into a more permanent disposition or a habitual outlook on the world.” Numerous studies indicate a positive attitude might reduce stroke risk. Additionally, mental illnesses like schizophrenia might lead to heart disease, respiratory illness, and other physical conditions. Not to mention, if you’re living with a chronic (long-term) physical or mental health condition, you’ll naturally have less energy to complete your daily tasks.Luckily, by caring for your mental and emotional health, you can heal your mind and your body. From a weekend getaway to a DIY at-home spa day, you can start feeling better without having to break the bank. Here are some creative ways to bring more self-care and relaxation into your life:

Take time to relax

It’s essential to work some restoration into each day. Aim for at least a few minutes of “me” time, especially if you’re stressed or overwhelmed. Sometimes, a mental break is all you need to feel rejuvenated. A vacation or a quick weekend getaway can be just what the doctor ordered. If you don’t have the time, money, or vacation days, you might consider a “staycation” right here in San Diego. Stay in La Jolla for its spectacular sunsets and beaches, enjoy the museums and the San Diego Zoo in the Gaslamp Quarter, or head to the heart of San Diego in Old Town or Mission Valley. Regardless of which neighborhood you choose, take advantage of health-focused activities and interests. Instead of a hotel, consider renting a vacation home with a full kitchen where you can cook healthy meals. Vacation rentals can be an affordable option, plus you can easily sort available rentals by nearby attractions and activities.

Treat yourself

Who doesn’t love a trip to the spa? From relaxing in a sauna to getting a massage, there are plenty of ways to boost your mental health at San Diego’s local spas and retreat centers. If you’re on a budget, you could even DIY an at-home spa day. Light some candles, play soft music, burn incense, and do some simple stretches. Consider looking up some quick recipes for homemade skin care products using essential oils and shea butter, then give yourself a facial or a foot massage for pure bliss.

Reduce stress

Although it can be hard sometimes, saying “no” is good for your health. You don’t have to agree to every request or opportunity. According to The New York Times, it’s better for your career and your health if you set some boundaries, rather than overcommitting yourself. Prioritize your alone time, and use it as an opportunity to unwind, hit the gym, enjoy a bubble bath, or watch your favorite comedy on Netflix. Your mental health will thank you for it.

Get more sleep

According to experts at Harvard, sleep deprivation negatively affects your mental health. If you’re consistently getting too little sleep, you could be at risk of developing a sleep disorder like insomnia. Disrupted sleep also increases stress hormones and reduces mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin. The good news is that getting more sleep can simultaneously treat your sleep disorder, increase your energy, boost your mood, and alleviate associated mental health symptoms. From cardiovascular disease to digestive disorders to decrease immunity, it’s clear that our thoughts and emotions impact our health. Although you can’t control the world around you, you can control your inner world. Try to maintain a positive outlook, and notice any times that you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It’s essential to work some self-care into each day, even if only for a few minutes. By caring for your mental and emotional health, you’ll feel better and have more energy to handle whatever life throws at you.


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