Have you ever experienced a time when your mental health was not at its best? It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed from time to time. Everyone’s mental health can take a dip every now and then, and after you undergo cosmetic surgery, like a facelift or a tummy tuck, your mental health can take a hit. This may be caused by your recovery time, personal feelings of regret or sadness, feeling like an entirely different person, or other causes.
It’s important to prioritize your mental wellness all year round, especially after surgery of any kind. Far too many people will overlook this essential aspect of well-being. With the fast-paced and stressful nature of modern life, it’s easy to neglect our emotional needs. But if you ignore your mental health and don’t take time for self-care, you risk negatively impacting your daily life and dealing with some serious consequences.
Why is Mental Health Important?
Your mental health plays an essential role in your overall well-being. It affects how you think, feel, and act on a daily basis. When you take time to focus on your self-care needs, you can lead a full and productive life. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Your mental health is important for many reasons:
- Cope more effectively with the stresses of life. When you are mentally healthy, you can better manage your emotions and handle stressful situations more effectively.
- Improve your physical health. Many types of physical health problems, like heart disease and diabetes, have been linked to mental illness. This can be caused by many things such as stress eating, consistent anxiety, or other things.
- Maintain good relationships with others. When your mind is in a good place, you’ll act more confidently, develop better communication skills, and engage in meaningful conversations with others.
From managing stress to maintaining relationships with others, mental health is important for all aspects of your life.
The Mental Health Impacts of Cosmetic Surgery
Whether you are getting eyelid surgery or a breast augmentation procedure, it’s important to consider your mental health beforehand and how the surgery may affect you. Those with existing mental health conditions may be negatively affected by a cosmetic procedure.
For instance, individuals with body dysmorphia disorder may feel unsatisfied with the results of their surgery which may worsen their distorted view of their appearance. In addition, some symptoms of depression may worsen after the operation and may lead to low self-esteem or other negative mental health impacts.
Cosmetic procedures will not instantly make everything better in your life. The emotional side effects of these types of surgeries can be long-lasting and it is vital for people to understand the mental health implications before undergoing a procedure. It will take time for other parts of your life to improve as well, so don’t make the cosmetic procedure your end-all solution for your wants and needs.
Make sure your expectations are properly aligned with that of your care provider regarding the outcome of your surgery. And remember to take care of yourself by practicing self-care in the days, weeks, and months after your procedure.
Taking care of yourself emotionally will help you lead a happier and healthier life overall! Here are a few tips to help you practice self-care every day after your procedure and prioritize your own mental health needs.
1. Practice Self-Gratitude
Valuing yourself is an important part of maintaining good mental health. Remember to take time to recognize your accomplishments and appreciate who you are. Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s important to remember to treat yourself with respect and avoid harsh self-criticism or comparisons to others. Try showing yourself some gratitude every single day and thanking yourself for rising to the challenges of your life.
Practicing self-gratitude also means taking time for yourself and engaging in activities that bring you joy. Hobbies like reading, playing music, or painting are great interests to explore, and they will greatly boost your mood and improve your mental well-being.
2. Take Care of Your Body and Health
Your physical and mental health are intrinsically linked. When your mental health suffers, so does your physical health, and vice versa. Make sure you take steps to improve your physical health on a daily basis, and it will work wonders for your mental well-being. Here are a few ways to do exactly that:
- Get enough sleep each night. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a dark, quiet environment.
- Eat nutritious meals throughout the day and drink plenty of water. Keeping a balanced diet will help boost energy and improve your mood.
- Exercise for at least 150 minutes each week. Studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as increase overall life satisfaction. That could be as simple as a few evening walks, an hour or two of swimming laps, or biking to work each day.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes and vaping whenever possible. If you want to quit and need help, check out resources like Cessation Help for advice on how to quit successfully.
3. Spend Time With Loved Ones and Friends
Surrounding yourself with supportive people is a great way to give your mental health a boost. Research has shown that having strong social connections can reduce the risk of developing depression and stress-related illnesses. Make an effort to spend time with family, friends, and other positive influences in your life regularly, and seek out activities or support groups where you can meet new people.
Having someone to talk to can be incredibly helpful when dealing with mental health issues. Talking openly about how you are feeling can help ease anxiety, stress, or depression. You don’t need to face your mental health issues alone – reach out and ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with your mental health.
It’s a good idea to take some time each day to appreciate the people around you and build meaningful relationships. It’ll make a big difference in your overall well-being in the short and long term.
4. Find Ways to Give Back
Believe it or not, volunteering your time and energy to help someone else can greatly benefit your mental health. Not only do you gain the satisfaction of knowing that you are creating a positive tangible impact for others in need, but it can also be a great way to meet new people and open yourself up to new experiences. Plus, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience—both emotionally and mentally.
When you help out at local food banks, take part in community cleanups, or assist with research projects at a local university, there are plenty of ways for you to make a difference in your community while taking care of your own mental health.
5. Quiet Your Mind with Quick Meditation Sessions
We’ve all known for years that meditation can be incredibly helpful for your mental well-being. This doesn’t mean you need to dive into a complicated meditation practice every single day. Sometimes all you need to do is set aside a few minutes each day to focus on deep breathing exercises and re-center your focus.
Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, try to take a few deep breaths and count to 10 between exhales and inhales. You may also try repeating a mantra or positive affirmation to reset your mind and bring you into a calmer state.
It’s a good idea to also explore calming, meditative activities like yoga, tai chi, qigong, and walking meditations. These are all great ways to help center yourself and allow some respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
When we permit ourselves to take this time for ourselves, it not only helps us become more mindful and relaxed but also increases our ability to connect with our inner selves and understand our needs better.
6. Set Realistic Micro-Goals
It’s important to have goals, both short-term and long-term. But it’s also important to make sure those goals are realistic. We all tend to set lofty expectations for ourselves that are too optimistic or unattainable.
Setting unrealistic goals can be detrimental to your mental health as it can leave you feeling overwhelmed at the moment and defeated when you don’t achieve them. Instead, set smaller, achievable goals that will lead you in the right direction.
Start by breaking down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones that are easier for you to accomplish. Think of it this way: If you are training for a marathon, you don’t set the expectation that you can prepare for the event in a single day beforehand. Instead, marathoner runners will spend multiple weeks or even months building stamina and challenging themselves with micro-goals. This gradual build-up sets them up for success on the day of the race.
Celebrate each success along the way, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem—this will help keep you motivated and on track for your ultimate goal.
7. Learn Strategies to Manage and Reduce Stress
We all experience stress on a daily basis, but it’s important to know how to deal with it in healthy ways. It’s a good idea to take the time to identify your stress triggers and the situations that cause you stress. This knowledge will help you begin to develop strategies for dealing with those triggers more effectively. Practicing relaxation techniques or mindfulness meditation are great ways to manage stress.
You may want to explore a variety of self-care activities to manage your stress. As noted earlier, hobbies like art can make stressful emotions melt away and re-center yourself. Other activities like journaling and listening to music can be effective stress busters too.
8. Seek Out Help When You Need It
Asking for help when dealing with mental health issues is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you are feeling overwhelmed or struggling with mental health challenges, make sure to reach out for help as soon as possible.
Talk therapy is an effective form of treatment for mental health afflictions and allows you a safe space to process what you’re going through. Other innovative therapies, like neurofeedback or biofeedback therapy, can act as great alternatives for navigating the complexities of mental health issues.
Whatever form of help you choose, remember that recovery is possible—and with the right tools and resources, you can get back on track!
Start Prioritizing Your Mental Health Today
The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a bright light on the importance of mental health across the world. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health.
By taking small steps every day to maintain your mental health, you’ll be able to live a happier and more fulfilling life. So, take a deep breath, practice self-care, and know when to reach out for assistance.
Nellia Melnyk is a researcher, and content creator who has a keen interest in neuroscience and psychology. She has developed an impressive collection of articles and blog posts focused on improving cognitive function, overcoming mental health issues, and enhancing overall brain health. Nellia is committed to helping individuals harness the power of their brains and live their best lives.