Why Self-Care Is Essential for Good Mental Health Among Young Adults

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Why Self-Care Is Essential for Good Mental Health Among Young Adults

young adults on basketball court

Emotional, physical, and mental health are crucial for development during young adulthood. But due to the difficulties of adolescence, some teens have trouble flourishing physically, mentally, and emotionally all at once, especially if they’re experiencing symptoms of emerging mental illness such as anxiety and depression. While seeking mental health treatment is always a good idea, one way for young adults to begin taking better care of themselves at home is by practicing self-care.

Good self-care means taking care of all of yourself, not just one area of your life. Read on to get some tips for self-care — and learn why it’s especially important for young adults.

Spend Time With Loved Ones

When you’re in a slump, sometimes the last thing you want to do is leave your room to spend time with your family members or make plans with friends. However, social connection is invaluable for self-care. The conversations you are having with your loved ones don’t have to be heavy or involve what’s going on (although confiding in them can be important, too). Just being near people who care about and love you can make a big difference in your mental health.

Reflect and Meditate

Two self-care activities that have been proven to lift spirits and improve overall health are reflection and meditation. Whether you go all-out by researching full-body meditation techniques or just start a reflection journal to scribble down your thoughts and feelings, taking stock of how you feel can help you recognize patterns in your moods and emotions.

Get Outside

Did you know that being in green spaces lowers your heart rate and promotes stress reduction? The natural world is full of elements that put us at ease without even realizing it. Add a nature walk or quick stroll through the park to your self-care routine, and you’ll be amazed at the differences. If you’re dealing with anxious, racing thoughts, nature is a great place to practice a meditation such as “5-4-3-2-1” (name five things you see, four things you feel, three things you hear, two things you smell, and one thing that you taste).

Exercise Regularly

Exercise can be tough to maintain on top of a busy school and social schedule, but it’s worth adding as a form of self-care because physical and emotional health are much more closely connected than you might think. You can reduce stress and blow off steam at the same time with a walk, a run, yoga, weightlifting, or even spending time shooting hoops with friends. Plus, studies have found that if you exercise daily for just 30 minutes, you benefit from a reduced risk of heart disease.

Fuel Your Body

A healthy diet results in positive impacts throughout your whole body — and a poor diet does the opposite, leaving you sluggish, groggy, and feeling hungry even after meals. Make sure you’re eating plenty of nutritious foods and filling up on your recommended daily helpings of veggies and fruits. Instead of snacking on chips or candy, change up your snacking habits with rice cakes, nuts, dried fruit, or other healthier and more filling alternatives.

Don’t Skimp on Sleep

Sleep in and of itself is a form of self-care — one that many people overlook. However, it’s a big mistake to skimp on a good night’s sleep! As a teenager or young adult, each night, you should be getting at least 8 hours of rest. Sleep scientists recommend powering down your devices to get ready for bed at least an hour before you actually lie down for the night, as it limits your exposure to blue light (which can keep you awake longer). 

Hope Springs Behavioral Health Can Help

Self-care is important for everyone — especially teenagers and young adults. Take the time to take care of yourself so you can keep your mind, body, and soul healthy. Check out our article on the differentiation between mental vs. behavioral health or read up on what to expect from family therapy. Interested in getting help with anxiety or depression, or just need someone to talk to? Get in touch with Hope Springs Behavioral Health today. We’re here for you and want to help.