When talking about self care, we often think of two main types: emotional and physical care. However, there is actually a subset of self care practices that stem from these categories. This subset includes psychological self care, or taking care of your mental health. Emotional self care refers to practices that help you relate to yourself and others in an emotional sense, such as through boundary work or communication work. On the other hand, psychological self care refers to practices we can do to learn, grow, and improve our critical thinking skills. This results in personal transformation from a psychological standpoint.
So what actually constitutes psychological self care? Simply put, it is any act of self care that aims to further your learning, critical thinking capacity, self-awareness, or personal growth. Although it differs from the boundary work, communication, and relationship work that constitutes much of emotional self care practices, it is just as important to recognize and uphold.
Keep reading to learn about the 3 main methods you can implement to help you reflect on your inner experiences. These methods will help you cultivate a better relationship with yourself and your mind.
1. Engage your brain
One key aspect of psychological self care is keeping your brain active, healthy, and engaged. Your brain needs exercise just as much as your body does. However, we rarely exercise all parts of our brain. When work and responsibilities start piling up, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and bogged down. Our focus wanes, and we start feeling mentally sluggish.
When this happens, search for a mentally-stimulating activity that you find interesting, but that is different from your day-to-day work in terms of its demands. For example, if you work in a research-based job, take a break from screens. Do something that requires both manual dexterity and physical effort. If you work in a more creative profession like design, consider finding a topic you don’t know much about and then challenging yourself to learn as much as you can about that topic in thirty minutes.
Learn a new skill
Picking up a new skill is another great way to engage your brain in new ways. If you feel like you are stuck in a creative rut, try a new creative hobby. This could be cooking, learning a musical instrument, or sewing. People are often hesitant to try new hobbies because of the financial commitment that often comes with those activities. For example, learning guitar generally requires you to buy a guitar. Sewing requires the acquisition of at least a small sewing kit and fabric, or potentially even a sewing machine. If you find yourself discouraged from trying something new for financial reasons, recruit a few friends to join you. Take an inexpensive course at your local library or community center. There are lots of ways to dip your toes in the water without having to commit fully.
Whether you find a new hobby, solve a few brain-teasers each day, or just practice more mindfulness in your daily life, actively identifying different areas of your brain to stimulate will help you take care of your mental health by shaking off that sluggish feeling in your brain and allowing you to regain your focus.
2. Seek new creative outlets
Finding a creative way to express yourself and your emotions is an important aspect of psychological self care. Many people have the urge to be more creative, but either can’t find the inspiration or simply don’t know where to start.
If you’re looking for creative inspiration, try finding new ways to engage with the world around you. A lot of our most productive inspiration comes from simply seeing things in a new light. For example, you could document the things in your life that seem mundane, and try to generate a narrative from those small pieces of information. Alternatively, you could collect small items you encounter throughout a day. Then turn them into a collage or inspiration board!
For an extra mental boost of inspiration while you identify and explore these new creative outlets, you could try taking a CBD supplement such as biocbd+ Organic Fruit Slices. They’re sweet, delicious gummies infused with all-natural CBD to promote mental focus and stimulation while providing a quick pick-me-up that’s good for both your mind and spirit.
3. Elevate your critical thinking skills
Our ability as humans to think critically about the world around us and continuously learn new things is one of our greatest gifts. We’ve all heard the idea that you should learn something new each day, but it doesn’t have to be that broad. For example, you could try to solve a problem – any problem, big or small, in your own life or someone else’s, each day. Or, you could think of a new way to approach a task you do every day. Then do it that way for a week. Try questioning the things in life you don’t normally think twice about. The goal here is to improve our ability to think critically about any subject, regardless of our level of prior knowledge on the subject. This, in turn, makes us better communicators, collaborators, and problem solvers.
Don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it
A lot of common self-care practices refer to activities you can do yourself to take care of your mental health. However, sometimes, the most helpful thing you can do for your overall psychological health and wellness is to find a counsellor or therapist to speak to. Talking to someone whose sole job is to listen provides you with a space in which to grow, learn, and become more comfortable with yourself, your emotions, and your place in the world. Feeling free to express yourself safely is a major key to developing a healthy relationship with your mind.