Looking after yourself properly means looking after the hub of all your operations: your mind. Your mental health is quite possibly the most important component of your current wellbeing needs, and when it comes to hitting the gym three times a week and eating a healthy diet, it’s only part of the cohesive mental healthcare plan. There could be a little more you could do for yourself, in terms of self-care, and that’s something we’re going to go through below.
Your immune system can take a hit
Your mental health can have a real effect on how your body protects itself. Both stress and depression can seem to tank the effectiveness of your immune system – researchers are unclear whether it’s your mental health affecting your immunity, or the other way around – and you can get very seriously sick if you let your inner feelings linger for too long. From heart disease to simple infections, your body really can suffer.
Bottling things up can have a physical effect
Bottling things up is never good for you – simply put, if you don’t cry those tears, it can make you ill! This is because, without an outlet for your feelings, you put extra stress on your internal system, and that can cause your blood pressure to rise, your thoughts to go awry (and your head to ache!), and make you want to hide yourself away from the rest of the world.
So it’s very important to always have someone to talk to. Maybe you don’t quite have a friend like that in your life right now, but that doesn’t have to be a problem; there are plenty of counselling services out there that you can make good use of. So, if you’re a bottler, be sure to try out a few different counsellors and see who you really connect with.
You’re tired, you’re hungry, and you’re moody
And finally, we come to the simplest demonstration of just how easily physical health can affect mental health – if you’re tired or hungry, and you’ve got to get some work done, you’re going to be moody while you do it! We all know what it feels like to be ‘hangry’, and applying that principle in the long term can make you feel terrible about yourself, which only goes on to make you less likely to take care of yourself.
For example, eating breakfast late can make you extra ‘hangry’ in the morning, and then make you want to skip a snack or even your whole evening meal later, which just further adds to the cycle. So, it’s important to try and stick to a routine featuring both a healthy sleep cycle and a balanced diet, and let your body get used to it.
Your mental health is linked to your physical health, and vice versa. Make sure you’re taking care of them both in equal measure, as they both matter, and you’ll feel much better and stronger in the long run.