10 Self-care Practices for Mental Health

Learn how these ten self-care practices for mental health will change your life forever. From sleep to exercise, mindfulness to healthy eating, building relationships to managing stress, learn how to prioritize your mental well-being.

Self-care practices for mental health are essential to maintain your overall well-being and leading a healthy and fulfilling life. Taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally is crucial.


This article will discuss ten self-care practices for mental health that can change your life forever. Incorporating these practices into your daily routine can reduce stress, improve your mood, and increase your overall quality of life.

Related: 5 mental health myths you need to know

What is self-care?

Self-care refers to a broad range of activities and practices that individuals engage in to promote their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. These activities and practices can vary widely and may include the following:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Practicing mindfulness or meditation
  • Seeking social support
  • Pursuing hobbies
  • Setting boundaries to reduce stress

Self-care aims to prioritize and nurture one’s own needs and well-being, which can lead to improved mental and physical health. Self-care can help individuals reduce stress, manage their emotions, and improve their overall quality of life.

Examples of self-care

These are just a few examples of self-care practices that can help individuals promote their well-being and manage stress. Remembering that self-care looks different for everyone and finding what works best for you is crucial.

  • Take a relaxing bath or shower
  • Practice yoga or other forms of exercise
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Spend time outdoors in nature
  • Read a book or listen to music
  • Practice meditation or mindfulness
  • Seek support from a therapist or counselor
  • Engage in creative activities such as painting or writing
  • Spend time with loved ones and nurture positive relationships
  • Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby
  • Practice self-compassion and positive self-talk
  • Set boundaries to protect your time and energy
  • Practice stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation
  • Take a break from technology and disconnect from social media

Five Pillars of Self-care

The five pillars of self-care are;

Physical self-care

It involves taking care of one’s physical health through regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet.

Emotional self-care

It involves caring for one’s emotional health through practices such as self-compassion, setting boundaries, and engaging in activities that promote joy and relaxation.

Social self-care

It involves nurturing positive relationships with others through practices such as spending time with loved ones, seeking social support, and participating in community activities.

Spiritual self-care

It involves engaging in activities that promote a sense of purpose and meaning, such as practicing mindfulness or meditation, engaging in religious or spiritual practices, or spending time in nature.

Intellectual self-care

It involves engaging in activities stimulating the mind and promoting intellectual growth, such as reading, learning a new skill, or pursuing a hobby.

When to seek professional help?

Seeking professional help for mental health support is an important step that should be taken when self-care practices are not enough to manage mental health symptoms. 

Here are some signs that it may be time to seek professional help.

  • Persistent and intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness that last for weeks or months.
  • Difficulty functioning in daily life, such as struggling to maintain relationships or perform at work or school.
  • Experiencing suicidal thoughts or engaging in self-harm.
  • Substance abuse or addiction.
  • A history of trauma or abuse that is affecting daily life.
  • Chronic physical symptoms like headaches or digestive issues do not respond to treatment.
  • Difficulty coping with a significant life change, such as a divorce or the death of a loved one.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to seek professional help. Mental health professionals such as therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors can provide a variety of treatments, including talk therapy, medication, and other interventions that can help you manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being. 

10 Self-care Practices for mental health

Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all approach and may vary from person to person. It is crucial for individuals to identify what works best for them and to make self-care a regular part of their daily routine.

By taking care of themselves, individuals can feel more energized, focused, and better equipped to handle the challenges of daily life.

Get Enough Sleep 

Sleep is essential for mental health. A lack of sleep can lead to mood swings, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

  • Ensure you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Consider setting a regular sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine before bedtime.
  • Creating a relaxing sleep environment to improve the quality of your sleep.

Exercise Regularly 

Exercise is beneficial not only for physical health but also for mental health.

  • It can reduce stress, improve mood, and boost self-esteem.
  • Try to moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  • Walking, running, swimming, or yoga can help you achieve your fitness goals and promote your mental well-being.

Practice Mindfulness 

Mindfulness is a technique that can help you stay present and focused on the moment.

  • It can reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
  • You can practice mindfulness through meditation, deep breathing, or visualization techniques.
  • Apps like Headspace and Calm can also help you incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine.

Eat a Healthy Diet 

A healthy diet is crucial for mental health.

  • A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can improve mood, reduce stress, and enhance cognitive function.
  • Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine, which can negatively impact mental health.

Build Strong Relationships 

  • Social support is essential for mental health.
  • Building and maintaining solid relationships with friends, family, and loved ones can provide a sense of belonging, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being.
  • Make time for social activities, practice active listening, and communicate openly.

Take Breaks and Vacations 

Taking breaks and vacations is essential for mental health.

  • Vacations can help you recharge and relieve stress.
  • Plan a relaxing vacation that allows you to disconnect from work and other stressors.
  • During the workday, take regular breaks to stretch, walk, or engage in other activities that promote relaxation.

Pursue Hobbies and Interests 

  • Engaging in hobbies and interests can improve mental health and reduce stress.
  • Consider activities like painting, reading, hiking, or cooking.
  • Pursuing a hobby or interest can also provide a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem.

Set Realistic Goals 

  • Setting realistic goals can provide a sense of purpose and promote mental health.
  • Ensure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • Work towards your goals gradually, celebrating your progress along the way.

Manage Stress 

  • Stress can negatively impact mental health.
  • Techniques like mindfulness, exercise, and deep breathing can help manage stress.
  • Identify sources of stress in your life and develop a plan to manage them effectively.
  • Consider talking to a mental health professional for additional support.

Seek Professional Help When Needed 

Mental health professionals can provide support and treatment for various mental health concerns.

  • If you’re struggling with mental health issues, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
  • Types of professionals who can help include therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors.
  • They can provide a variety of treatments, including talk therapy, medication, and other interventions.

Importance of self-care in mental health

  • Self-care is essential for maintaining good mental health and well-being.
  • Practicing self-care can help individuals manage stress and prevent burnout.
  • Self-care can help individuals cope with difficult emotions like depression and anxiety.
  • Engaging in self-care activities can promote feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.
  • Self-care can help individuals build resilience and better cope with future stressors.
  • Prioritizing self-care can improve the overall quality of life and promote a sense of balance and fulfillment.
  • Self-care can be tailored to fit each individual’s needs and preferences, making it a flexible and customizable way to promote mental health.
  • Self-care is not a one-time event but a lifelong practice requiring ongoing attention and effort.

What are some other self-care practices for mental health? 

Other self-care practices for mental health include journaling, practicing gratitude, getting outdoors, and engaging in self-care activities like bathing, getting a massage, or reading a book.

How can I make self-care a priority? 

Making self-care a priority requires setting aside time for yourself each day. Consider scheduling self-care activities on your calendar, asking for support from friends and family, and recognizing the benefits of self-care.

Can self-care practices improve my mental health? 

Yes, self-care practices can improve your mental health. By prioritizing your physical, emotional, and mental well-being, you can reduce stress, improve your mood, and increase your overall quality of life.

Final Thoughts

Incorporating self-care practices for mental health into your daily routine is essential for maintaining mental health.

You can promote your overall well-being and lead a fulfilling life by prioritizing sleep, exercise, mindfulness, healthy eating, building relationships, managing stress, pursuing hobbies, and seeking professional help.

Remember to prioritize self-care, celebrate your progress, and seek help when necessary. You can live a healthy, happy, and balanced life by caring for yourself.