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Make Self-Care a Priority for Mental Health Awareness Month

Make Self-Care a Priority for Mental Health Awareness Month

self-care awareness month

By Sarah Fish

March is Mental Health Awareness Month, and a great opportunity to make self-care a part of your daily routine to manage stress. Everyone experiences difficult times but learning to stay mindful and showing yourself some love can help make a bad day easier. 

If you have been feeling overwhelmed by minor stressors, lacking sleep, or feeling like you don’t have enough time for the things you really want or need, then you are in desperate need of some self-care. This doesn’t necessarily mean a day at the spa, but it certainly can. What it does mean is taking meaningful action to prioritize the small things that keep your stress level in check. A couple extra minutes enjoying your morning coffee may be all it takes to set the tone for the day, and carving out that time to enjoy each sip is self-care. 

“Jumping into react mode first thing in the morning can be oh-so-tempting. But once you’re there — responding to emails, looking at texts — regaining a sense of intention and spaciousness is tricky,” according to, a website dedicated to helping users practice self-care with guided meditations, programs that help ease stress, and tips on how to handle new challenges with greater ease. Simply taking a few minutes each day to focus on your own needs and making choices that prioritize your happiness is all it takes to perfect the art of self-care. 

Mindfulness is key to managing stress. This means utilizing your five senses and being attuned to what you’re feeling and the real-time sensations you are experiencing. In moments of stress or worry, remind yourself to remain grounded by using your five senses. Focusing on things you can see, touch, hear, taste, or smell will help you stay in the present and not let negative thinking blind you from the moment you’re in. To sum it up, stop and smell the roses. 

In Bradenton, you can find yourself surrounded by flowers of all kinds at the Palma Sola Botanical Gardens. Schedule a walk through the gardens and let yourself get lost in the beauty of nature. Pay attention to the colors and sounds as you allow yourself some time away from the hustle and bustle of busy Bradenton. 

“There is mounting evidence that nature has benefits for both physical and psychological human well­-being,” says Lisa Nisbet, PhD, a psychologist at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, who studies connectedness to nature. “You can boost your mood just by walking in nature, even in urban nature. And the sense of connection you have with the natural world seems to contribute to happiness even when you’re not physically immersed in nature.” 

According to a study reported by the American Psychological Association, people who had spent at least two recreational hours in nature a week experienced significantly greater health and well-being. This pattern was also found in older adults and people with chronic health problems, with the same effects whether the time was in one 120-minute experience or spread out over the course of the week (Scientific Reports, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2019). 

Self-care also means taking care of your body. A busy, stressful day can mean falling into a pattern of a lack of sleep, low-quality food, and too much coffee, but staying hydrated, eating well, and getting enough sleep are important to maintaining good mental health. Ellisha Mcintosh, a Bradenton entrepreneur who started her own business, Pressed 4 Health, was inspired by the need for self-care and knows all about it. 

“I went from catering sweets and heavy food, now launching my Pressed 4 Health business, which is all encompassing of self-care! Showing my journey of aligning with my truth, sacrificing my wants for my needs, and making sure that I am healing and loving myself from within,” she says.

Mcintosh says it’s more about the “internal world than the external world” and her journey through entrepreneurship has made her face things within herself that she didn’t even realize were there. 

“Repressed emotions, childhood wounds, and so much more. In order to be exactly who I’ve grown to be and am meant to be within business I had to do the work on ME first,” she says. “Self-care to me is sitting quiet during those times when I would like to distract myself from how I’m truly feeling inside. Allowing myself to dig deep within my being. Feeling those deeply rooted wounds and experiences from childhood that helped shape me into who I grew to be.”

With her company, she offers different fresh-pressed juices and herbal tea blends to aid in

kickstarting the journey of healing from within. She says her goal is to connect repressed emotions to illnesses like blood pressure, cancers, and those such things that people suffer from every day and actually heal the body, not suppress them with medicines.

“I’ve been doing self-study and using the herbs myself so that I can be a more effective and knowledgeable healer for others. Juicing and consuming herbs has allowed me to physically release things that I was holding onto, so I hope to be able to encourage others to do the same!” Mcintosh says. “If we do a little bit for ourselves every single day, it shows back up on the outside of us.”

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