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Recharging Your Personal Battery: Mental Health Self-Care Tips

Life can be stressful, and your body and mind can’t go nonstop without any breaks. You may focus on work or school, your family, or other commitments and forget you need to take care of yourself, too. This can weaken your mental health and lead to burnout.You don’t want your phone to run out of battery when you need to use it. Similarly, when your mental or physical energy runs low, you need to plug into your personal power sources. By building self-care activities into your life, you give your mind and body the break they need to recharge—to help you be the best self you can be.

Self-Care Basics

Some activities are so important for mental health and wellness that they form the foundation of taking care of yourself. These include:

• Get enough sleep:   Feeling well-rested is critical to your overall well-being. Try to get 7  to 9 hours of sleep each night so your body and brain can reset and be ready for the next day.

• Eat healthy food:   Dealing with busy and stressful days requires energy, and eating the right kinds of foods can improve your mood and ability to function.

• Stay hydrated:   Getting enough to drink helps your body and brain work well and also increases your energy. Focus on water or drinks without added sugar.

• Move your body:   Exercise increases your energy levels and boosts your mood. Whether you take a walk, go on a hike, join a dance class, or go to the gym, you’ll feel better after getting active.

• Take your medications:   If you have any physical or mental health conditions, follow your doctor’s instructions to help prevent a crisis situation or other problems from developing.

• Manage your schedule:   Try to avoid taking on more than you can handle. Know your limitations and be sure to build in time for the things that are most important to you. Saying “no” can be a kind of self-care.

• Connect with friends and family:   Social support is vital to good mental health. Keep in touch with friends and family members you enjoy being with, and who will give you a boost of positivity or comfort.

• Avoid alcohol or drugs:   The use of alcohol and drugs can make a mental health condition worse and increase the chances of a crisis developing. Work on reducing the amount you use and how often. You may need to cut them out of your life to care for your mental health.

Pick Your Pick-Me-Ups

Everyone is different, so the self-care activities that work for one person may not be helpful to another. Find the things that help you relax and feel good. Try different activities to see which ones you want to add to your personal go-to list when you need a boost.

Here are some ideas. Check off the activities that you have tried and take opportunities to try new activities:


What if I still need help?

Self-care activities are like keeping the battery charged so your phone will function throughout the day. If the battery runs low, you may not be able to use the device until you plug it in again. Sometimes, though, a phone may have a problem like a software glitch or a broken screen that needs professional attention.

For your mental health, self-care can keep you in good emotional shape and prevent small stresses from turning into big ones. But sometimes it’s not enough. If you start to feel overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, it may be time to seek help. Find out more about the different types of support available to you.