When we talk about self care, we're referring to self initiated behaviour and activities that promote good overall health and well-being. Whatever your age or circumstance, self care is beneficial. It helps to replenish yourself — physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. For those experiencing mental illness, self care can help ease the symptoms. Through a range of self care and alternative therapies, many people successfuly treat or manage symptoms associated with mental illness.

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*Self care alternatives will help in overall well-being, but they may not be enough for some people experiencing mental illness. If your symptoms are persistent, consult your healthcare provider to discuss other treatment options.

Examples of Self Care

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Journaling

Keeping a journal of your feelings and changes in mood allows you to visually understand the timing and cause of your symptoms. You'll get to know yourself and your mental illness better. It's also a way to unload the negative feelings that are weighing you down.

Physical activity

When you exercise, endorphins are released which boost your mood. Physical activity doesn't have to be intense, any movement will help ease the symptoms of depresseion, help you feel calm, offer temporary relief from problems on your mind, and increase confidence and self-image.

Yoga

This combination of postures, breathing techniques, meditations and mantras, target the entire body system. The practice will help heighten awareness and increase your inner strength, concentration and mental clarity.

Meditation

Meditation has been widely known to help lower anxiety, decrease severity of symptoms related to depression, increase mental clarity and self esteem, and raise confidence. Start with 5 minutes a day and increase to 10-15 minutes. That's all it takes to notice the benefits of meditation.

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Music

Allow yourself to get lost in music. Music can be a temporary escape, and also provides comfort, relaxation, calming effects, increased energy and mood enhancement. Although it isn't a cure for mental illness, music allows you to temporarily look past your issues and focus on the melody, rhythm and lyrics.