It is easy to feel mentally exhausted in a world that demands so much our time, energy and focus. Many people push themselves from sunup to sundown in a quest to keep up with responsibilities at home and work, juggling social events, kids’ activities and other commitments. With all this, the need to take care of ourselves is real. In fact, if ignored, our bodies can start to feel the impact mentally or physically, opening the door for burnout, nervous exhaustion, or even mental health and substance use challenges to develop or worsen.
So on this National Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17), we want to encourage you to be kind to yourself by practicing self-care. The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) curriculum tells us that with treatment and care, mental health and substance use challenges can be prevented and people experiencing those challenges may recover. Whether you’re on a recovery journey or just want to be able to give back to others, self-care is a great place to start. In fact, one national survey found that Americans experienced enhanced happiness (71%), increased productivity (67%) and self-confidence (64%) as benefits of self-care. From a physical health perspective, self-care also reduces heart disease, stroke and cancer. It also gives you the fuel you need to help others.
Feeling ready to practice self-care? It doesn’t have to be elaborate, expensive or time intensive. It can be physical, mental or emotional — whatever you feel is most needed at the time.
We’re here to help you get started!
Here are 10 simple acts of kindness you can do for yourself on this National Random Acts of Kindness Day and throughout the year.
Don’t fret if you can’t do an act of self-care as often as you’d like. Setbacks are a natural part of life. Tomorrow is a fresh start in which you can #BeTheDifference in your own life.
Another way to practice kindness is to get certified in Mental Health First Aid. The course will help you recognize and respond to signs and symptoms of a mental health or substance use challenge — which goes a long way toward helping others as well as yourself. Find an upcoming course today!
Gottschalk, S. (2022, March 22). Why you should spend time doing nothing, according to science. Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/62700-why-spend-time-doing-nothing.html
Jensen, A. & Bonde, L.O. (2018, April 30). The use of arts interventions for mental health and wellbeing in health settings. Sage Journals. 138 (4). https://doi.org/10.1177/1757913918772602
Jordan, R. (2015, June 30). Stanford researchers find mental health prescription: Nature. Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. https://news.stanford.edu/2015/06/30/hiking-mental-health-063015/
Mental Health First Aid. (2020). Mental Health First Aid USA. National Council for Mental Wellbeing.
Vagaro. (2021, Jan. 14). Vagaro survey finds Three-quarters of Americans believe self-care activities provide stress relief. https://news.vagaro.com/press-release/survey-finds-three-quarters-of-americans-believe-self-care-activities-provide-stress-relief