Mental health awareness has been slowly but steadily increasing since the 1840s. This trend was piqued in 1949 when Mental Health America established its first Mental Health Awareness Week (now Month).
From the 1990s until 2019, talking about depression, anxiety, bipolar, and schizophrenia became less taboo. However, it took until the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic for the world to make mental health a priority truly.
As of 2022, many people have found solace in improving their mental health and following a few self-care tips to avoid burnout.
Take time to relax.
Taking time to relax and shut the world out, even for an hour a day, can rejuvenate you. Submerge yourself in warm bathwater, schedule a massage session, or take a short nap. Otherwise, just veg out and watch some of your favorite TV streaming shows.
Concerning rest time, you may have heard of religious or spiritual groups requiring a “day of rest.” Science backs up having at least one full day of rest per week. If you don’t do this already, perhaps consider it.
Set limits on your work schedule.
It feels good to sometimes perform above and beyond the call of duty on a job. However, there’s a fine line between putting in a few extra hours once in a while and saying “yes” when you should say “no.”
Ana Arruda, CEO of mental wellness platform Conquer Life Co suggests, “Take breaks during the workday. By stepping away from a problem and clearing our minds, we often find answers to the big picture; having lunch away from our desk is one simple way to do this. Connecting with nature during breaks can make them even more powerful.”
You need to learn your limits and realize the early signs of stress and say “no” when you need to say “no.” Concerning this, the ideal weekly work-hours limit is somewhere between 38 and 48 hours, depending on what type of job you work and your personal stress threshold.
Maybe sometimes you can work more. However, other times, you must listen to your body and recognize the early signs of burnout.
Some of the top signs of stress are making more minor mistakes than usual and not accomplishing as much as you usually do. If you reach this point, it’s time for a break – you must come first over your job at this point.
Use your creativity to reduce stress.
Pour out your heart in your journal, write some poetry, jam out a new “tune” on the guitar, or take a pottery class. Some people prefer to doodle, draw or paint to release inner emotions building up that cause stress. Woodworking and building projects can also keep your mind off your troubles, and it provides you with a physical stress release.
Engage in “fun” activities that help you “blow off steam.”
Dancing, sports, community volunteer work – anything that will keep your mind off the work you normally do – can help you reset your thinking. When you engage in vigorous activity that seems fun, it also provides you with the workout you need that may not seem like “exercise” to you.
Make sure you sleep enough.
Never underestimate the power of sleep for mental health management. If you have ever felt hopeless while feeling tired and more optimistic when you wake up, you have experienced the benefit of sleep.
Some mental health conditions may cause people to feel restless, however. This, unfortunately, worsens depression and anxiety. Sleep deprivation can also trigger more severe manic episodes in bipolar people.
If you can sleep, take advantage of the benefits of it. If you have insomnia, seek help as soon as possible to put your life in balance.