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Mental Self-Care: Strategies for Better Mental Health

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

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Continuing our list of the 9 types of self-care, it's now time to take a closer look at mental self-care.

Mental self-care includes various things that contribute to a sharper mind, enhanced brain power, less stress, and overall better mental health.

So let's dive deep into the world of mental self-care and look at what mental self-care actually is, what its benefits are, and what the ways to practice mental self-care are.

Picture of rocky sea shore with calm water and peaceful sky, representing the peace of mind and clarity that mental self-care brings.
Mental self-care is about sharper mind, enhanced brain power, less stress, and overall better mental health.

What is Mental Self-Care?

Mental self-care means taking good care of our mental well-being and engaging in activities that contribute to better mental health.

It's also about keeping our minds sharp, exercising our brains, and finding ways to manage stress and anxiety.

Benefits of Mental Self-Care

Mental self-care is very important because our mental state affects all the other areas of our lives.

Taking regular actions to improve our mental well-being has some amazing benefits, such as:

  • Improved mental health

  • Enhanced cognitive function

  • Reduced stress

  • Increased productivity

  • Boosted creativity

  • Increased self-awareness

  • Improved sleep

  • Better physical health

  • Improved relationships

As you can see, mental self-care affects positively almost every area of our lives!

Picture of notebook and flowers. Representing the beauty that the benefits of mental self-care brings to our lives.
Mental self-care benefits several areas of our lives.

Examples of Mental Self-Care

Ok, you are probably convinced now that mental self-care is something you really should incorporate into your self-care routine.

So let's look at some practical actions you can take to start taking better care of your mental well-being and health!

1. Mindfulness & Meditation

Of course, the highest up on our list is mindfulness and meditation. This is not only because we are passionate mindfulness practitioners, but there is a lot of scientific evidence backing up the positive effect mindfulness has on our mental health.

Because of its constantly increasing popularity, we have now more than ever choices and resources to start a regular mindfulness practice!

You can start practicing mindfulness for free by doing exercises on YouTube, for example.

If you want a more structured and comprehensive program, we recommend the 7-minute mindfulness program, which is a great way to reap the benefits of mindfulness with little effort.

2. Cognitive Activities

Mental self-care is also about keeping your mind sharp. Engaging in cognitive activities such as games, puzzles, reading, writing, or learning new skills has several benefits to our mental health and well-being.

Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Improved brain health

  • Reduced boredom

  • Enhanced sense of achievement and purpose

  • Reduced stress

  • Improved memory

  • Better mental flexibility

  • Improved mood

  • Enhanced self-esteem

  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline and mental health disorders

So do yourself a favor and add a little brainwork to your self-care routine! And remember to keep a compassionate mindset when engaging in these activities because pushing yourself too hard just leads to frustration and stress.

Keep it light and most importantly, fun!

3. Therapy & Counseling

Therapy and counseling are powerful ways to practice mental self-care.

They provide a safe and supportive place to explore your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors with a professional.

Therapy and counseling are great for increasing self-awareness and self-understanding. You can also learn useful coping strategies for life's challenges in therapy.

It's important to remember that everyone's journey with therapy and counseling is unique.

Some people might need only a few sessions to address temporary difficulties, while others may require longer-term treatment to manage ongoing mental health issues.

4. Self-Compassion & Acceptance

Self-compassion and acceptance are fundamental to mental self-care. They involve treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance, especially during hard times.

The essence of self-compassion is allowing yourself to be human, to make mistakes, and to acknowledge that suffering and imperfection are natural parts of life.

Self-compassion has been linked to a multitude of benefits, such as:

  • Increased emotional resilience

  • Reduced stress & anxiety

  • Reduced depression

  • Increased happiness

Self-acceptance, on the other hand, is about embracing who you are without conditions or reservations. It involves acknowledging and accepting your weaknesses along with your strengths.

By accepting ourselves as we are, we are better equipped to acknowledge our flaws and learn from our mistakes, which can lead to personal growth and improved mental well-being.

Blue flowers and sunset in a meadow.
Self-Compassion & Acceptance are crucial parts of mental self-care.

5. Adequate Sleep

Adequate sleep is absolutely crucial for good mental health and self-care. During sleep, our bodies and brains go through several important processes that support learning, memory, emotional regulation, and physical health.

Here are some ways that adequate sleep contributes to mental self-care and mental health:

  • Cognitive Functioning: Sleep plays a significant role in our cognitive processes, such as attention, memory, decision-making, and problem-solving.

  • Emotional Regulation: Sleep affects our mood and emotional regulation. Getting a good night's sleep can improve mood and make us more resilient to daily stressors.

  • Mental Health Disorders: Chronic sleep problems can contribute to mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. For people with these conditions, improving sleep can often be an important part of their treatment plan.

  • Physical Health: Sleep is essential for our physical health, which can in turn impact our mental health.

Some ways to improve sleep include maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing pre-sleep routine, keeping your sleep environment dark and cool, limiting exposure to screens before bed, avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, and engaging in regular physical activity.

If you're looking to enhance your relaxation experience and achieve a deeper state of calm, I highly recommend trying the brainwave meditations offered by Brainwave Club. Watch the short demo below and access a wide range of unique brainwave meditations *HERE.

This is a great service for anyone who wants to feel happier, calmer, and more joyful day to day! The brainwave technology really works. Enjoy!

6. Creative Expression

Creative expression is a fundamental aspect of human nature that has many amazing benefits for mental self-care and overall mental health. It provides an outlet for self-expression, and emotional release, and can offer a sense of accomplishment.

Here's how creative expression plays a vital role in mental self-care:

  • Emotional Release: Creative activities such as painting, writing, dancing, or playing an instrument provide an outlet for emotions.

  • Mindfulness: Engaging in a creative task can promote a state of 'flow', which can be very similar to meditation, promoting mindfulness, and providing a break from negative or stress-inducing thoughts.

  • Self-Esteem and Confidence: Completing a creative project provides a sense of achievement, which can boost self-esteem and confidence.

  • Self-Understanding: Creative activities can provide insight into our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, helping us to understand ourselves better.

  • Cognitive Benefits: Creative tasks can stimulate the brain, improve cognitive abilities such as problem-solving and adaptability, and can even slow cognitive aging.

Creative expression is about finding joy and fulfillment in the act of creating. This could be anything from sketching, painting, knitting, writing poetry, and playing a musical instrument, to experimenting with cooking recipes, and more.

The goal is to find a creative outlet that brings you joy and allows you to express yourself in a meaningful way.

7. Digital Detox

A digital detox, which involves disconnecting from digital devices like smartphones, computers, tablets, and social media platforms for a certain period, can be an extremely beneficial part of mental self-care.

Here's how:

  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Constant connectivity can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed, especially with the influx of news, social updates, and constant notifications. A digital detox can reduce the stress and anxiety associated with this.

  • Improved Sleep: By reducing screen time, especially before bed, a digital detox can improve the quality of your sleep.

  • Enhanced Focus and Concentration: Constant digital interruptions can fragment your attention, making it difficult to focus. By spending time away from devices, you can boost your attention span and improve productivity.

  • Boosted Mental Well-being: Spending time offline can reduce feelings of envy, loneliness, and dissatisfaction often associated with the use of social media, contributing to a better overall mental state.

  • Encouraged Real-world Connections: A digital detox allows more time for face-to-face interactions, which can boost your mood and foster a sense of connection and belonging.

Planning regular digital detox periods, such as specific hours during the day, weekends, or even a week-long detox, can be a very useful aspect of your mental self-care routine!

A book, coffee and flowers, representing the peace of mind that digital detox can bring.
Being away from screens regularly and maybe reading a good old book is a great way to boost mental wellbeing!

8. Social Interactions

Regular interactions with friends, family, and community members create a sense of belonging and acceptance, both of which are known to be integral for mental stability and health.

Social interactions can also act as a natural stress reliever. The support and understanding provided by others during difficult times can help in reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

It's important to remember that social needs are highly individual and that quality trumps quantity. Meaningful relationships that provide support, understanding, and a sense of belonging.

It's also key to strike a balance between social interactions and personal time for self-reflection and self-care.

Read our article about Social Self-Care for more detailed information about social interactions and self-care!

4 friends laughing and drinking coffee, representing the importance of social interactions to mental health and verall wellbeing.
Social interactions are important to mental health.

Hope you found these Mental Self-Care tips useful!

Please share this post to help us spread the message about the importance of self-care! We also appreciate it if you take time to share your thoughts and insights about mental self-care.

And remember to stay tuned for our next blog post where we offer useful tips and amazing information about Environmental Self-Care.

Take care <3

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