Self-care is the act of recognizing the importance of your well-being to improve your overall physical, mental and spiritual health. For many of us, balancing our physical, mental and spiritual health can be a struggle. We often get caught up in our own everyday lives and taking care of the people around us, and in turn, ignore our own struggles for the sake of others. The true simple fact is that we can only give others as much as we give to ourselves.
The first step is realizing you want to improve your health and the next step is learning how to help yourself! In part 1 of this blog series, we will focus on the mental health side of self-care.
Mental health in recent years has been a topic that has been talked about more frequently. As a society we have recognized the importance of the mind. With the recent pandemic, many people have experienced a high amount of anxiety and stress over the last year and a half. For some, this may have been the first time they were faced with uncertainty about the future. It’s important to acknowledge, however, these feelings are completely normal and there are many ways to help improve your general mental health.
A recent event that sparked conversation about mental health was at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, where World Class athlete Simone Biles decided to withdraw from her events due to her mental health. Biles was experiencing the “twisties” which essentially means she lost direction in the air, something that as a gymnast, could lead to serious (even life threatening) injuries. Prior to the Olympics, Biles was given the title of the “best gymnast in the world,” a label she had to carry on her shoulders. When she announced that she wanted to take a step back and not compete in her events, she was faced with extreme criticism.
In an interview Biles would state that “We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day, we’re human, too.” Biles said, “So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do” (Biles, 2021). This scenario brings up the fact that although Biles physically was at her best, her mental state held her back from achieving her true potential. She eventually would go on to compete in her final event that she qualified in, receiving a bronze medal symbolizing her strength and perseverance. Although the medal wasn’t gold, it represented her true mental strength. Her absence also allowed her teammates to showcase their own skills and even resulted in 2 gold medals.
Biles’ story is inspiring to us all and we can take away that mental health is very important in our everyday lives. While most of us may not feel the pressure of the Olympics, we all may feel anxious and overwhelmed navigating our way through life. We may experience our own version of the “twisties” where anxiety overtakes us and we have difficulty focusing or completing our work or everyday tasks. Anxiety is often treated by doctors with medications to help reduce these feelings. However, did you know that there are natural ways to help reduce these symptoms without the need for medication?
A common form to release stress and anxiety is meditation. Meditation is all about mindfulness and listening to the body and opening up the mind and spirit. Meditation can help you obtain a better sense of self awareness and listen to the body to achieve a clearer mentality and release any sort of built up emotions. This practice dates back to 1500 BCE and is a part of many cultures. Meditation can be practiced in the comfort of your home or for 15 minutes at your desk at work. For those who struggle to clear their mind of their worries, you can partake in guided meditation where you may receive one-on-one direction through the process. Spiritual Spectra offers meditation workshops to teach you how to meditate!
Another natural method to reduce anxiety is yoga. Yoga is similar to meditation in that it can stabilize your emotions and connect the mind, body and spirit. Yoga takes you through fluid motion from one yoga pose to another and as you do the mind begins to focus on the breath and the body. While focused on the breath and the body, the mind releases all worry and stress.
This practice may also be something you can do at home or guided with a Yoga instructor.
Sleep is most important to recharge our bodies and it can make or break our mental health. Getting at least 6-9 hours of sleep at night allows your body and mind to recharge. Getting too much sleep, or not getting enough can lead to negative effects such as bad moods, fatigue, or even depression and anxiety. Put yourself first, listen to your body when it’s tired.
Recognizing the importance of your mental health is the first step to improving yourself. The next step is doing something about it. Incorporating mindful activities and improving your sleep pattern are just a few natural ways you can help your mind to create a better and more improved mindset. If you’re ready to take care of yourself, Spiritual Spectra can help! Jennifer Garcia, the Founder of Spiritual Spectra, specializes in holistic healing practices to help heal the mind and body.
The mind, body and spirit are connected. It is important to value all three. Taking care of your physical health can greatly improve your mental health. In Part 2 of this blog series, we will talk about the benefits of balancing your physical health as well! In Part 3 of this blog series, we will focus on spiritual well-being and how it can help you clear your mind and improve your physical health.
The copyright of the photos of Simone Biles remain with the photographer or hired agency. We only use photos that are in the public domain. Spiritual Spectra has no affiliation with Simone Biles or the Olympics, they do not endorse or support this business or blog in any way.