• 3 Research-Based Self-Care Tips to Improve Mental Health

    Youth Mental Health First Aid, YMHFA, Onsite MHFA
    March, 2020

    3 Research-Based Self-Care Tips to Improve Mental Health

    Youth Mental Health First Aid, YMHFA, Onsite MHFA

    Self-care is a practice of limiting the strains you encounter and strengthening your mind to cope with challenges better. People like to see self-care as a remedy, but it’s rather a daily routine and winds you capable of withstanding overwhelming stressful events for long periods. Anyone can benefit from these activities especially the youth who goes through the toughest of times. When taught early in life, young people can be prepared to overcome different pressures, changes, and disappointments, and healthily process them.

    There are lots of ways to practice self-care and most of them come free. We’re here to reiterate some and bring them to the tops of your list of to-dos.

    Cut back on social media use. Results from The Millennium Cohort1 study have shown that young girls who spend more time using social media show stronger signs of depression compared to their less-using peers. This may be attributed to the feelings of inadequacy they contract from viewing glorified lifestyles and unrealistic standards of beauty. It’s recommended that young people channel their energies to hobbies, reading, and other productive activities rather than social media.

    Maintain a healthy body clock. Your mind is an extension of your body. Thus, its condition is highly dependent on how well you care for your physical health. Getting enough sleep should be a top priority because sleeping problems are probable factors of depression. According to a Harvard Health Publishing2, people with sleep problems have an increased risk of developing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. If you’ve been putting off sleep for internet, this is a sign that you need to cut back on both.

    Meditate. You may have already heard this in passing but it’s true what the gurus say— meditation can fortify the mind. Dr. Elizabeth Hoge from Harvard Medical School acknowledged the psychological benefits of mindfulness meditation in easing anxiety. Harvard Health Publishing3 narrates that in one of Dr. Hoge’s study a significant reduction of symptoms has been found in subjects who underwent a mindfulness-based meditation program. The good thing about meditation is that you can do it yourself. There are apps like Headspace and Aura that can help with this.

    Remember to take benefit of self-care with a little grain of salt. Though self-care provides young people with the resources to thrive in critical situations, it still isn’t enough especially in cases of trauma, self-harm, and substance abuse. More intense cases require an elevated type of psychological help like Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a relief provided by certified individuals until expert treatment is available. MHFA courses can be taken by parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals to understand a wide range of mental health crises, relate to young people’s emotional processes, and consequently deliver more effective assistance.

    If you are interested in getting MHFA-accredited, talk to our representatives to sign up for an MHFA class near you. Call 07 5499 2406. We have classes scheduled in Townsville, Toowoomba, Cairns and Brisbane. We also have onsite Mental Health First Aid training. Contact us to schedule an onsite MHFA training. We are happy to travel across Australia for onsite MHFA.

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    Resources

    1 Depression in girls linked to higher use of social media. The Guardian (2019). https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/04/depression-in-girls-linked-to-higher-use-of-social-media

    2 Sleep and mental health. Harvard Health Publishing (2009). https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health

    3 Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress. Harvard Health Publishing (2014). https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967

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