Taking Care of Your Mental Health and Learning Self-Care

No matter who you are or where you live, the past 2 years have been especially
difficult for everyone around the world. Living in the US far from your friends and family
during a pandemic can be very hard to go through. Making sure your VISA status is
legal or worrying about war around the world can be stressful. Maybe you are a parent
juggling both school and kids, or you live alone and haven’t seen your family in a long
time. To help ease these feelings of anxiety, depression, or loneliness, it is so important
to take care of your mental health and learn self-care.

Even before the pandemic started, I, like many others, struggled with my mental
health. I had daily anxiety and even struggled with panic attacks, and decided to go to
therapy. If you have gone through something similar, you are NOT alone. Talking about
your mental health is just as important as talking about your physical health. Do not be
embarrassed to ask for help.

Some way that I helped improve my mental health was by practicing self-care.
Everybody practices self-care in ways that work best for them. For me, that means
calling my sister, taking a relaxing bubble bath, or spending time outside in nature. For
others, that may mean watching a good movie, eating a homemade meal, or playing
video games. Sometimes it means setting boundaries with people or having that difficult
but necessary conversation.

Take some time and think to yourself about what you enjoy doing and what truly
makes you feel happy. Then, set aside specific time for your self-care. You might decide
to take a walk in your favorite park once a week, or you might choose to watch an
episode of your favorite TV show after your kids have gone to bed. It’s not easy when
you have a busy schedule, but it becomes a time that you look forward to and
eventually becomes a healthy habit. We have a phrase in English that says, “You can’t
pour from an empty cup,” meaning you can’t help others until you help yourself first.

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