top of page
  • Candice Beaton, LCSW

Mental Hygiene: A Fresh Perspective

If all went well this morning, you woke up and if you're anything like me you went straight for the coffee! Shower, brushing the teeth, drying the hair, and picking out an outfit were not far behind if not already done.

If you were to look back on your morning, did you have to convince yourself that you deserved to take a shower? Did you use the rationale that you'll get to putting on your deodorant as long as you complete those 10 tasks you've been telling yourself you'll get done. Or maybe you'll consider brushing your teeth as long as you have time in your day...Perhaps you'll get to it but only if you really deserve it! Does this sound silly? I hope so and here's why: These are the things I hear as reasons why self care is either the last on the list or more likely, never gets on the list to begin with.

SELF CARE is one of the single most important things we can do for ourselves in my opinion. There are so many things we have to get done on any given day which lead people to feeling emotionally and physically exhausted and not in the mood to do self care which can counteract said experiences. Simply put, self care is last on the list!

According to Google, hygiene alone is defined as "conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease." This can include showering, brushing the teeth, and all of those morning things we don't question as a way to prevent body odor, bad breath, discomfort etc.

Let's take it up a notch and insert Mental Hygiene. Google defines Mental Hygiene as the "Science of maintaining mental health and preventing disorders to help people function at their full mental potential." It's right there in the definition, maintaining mental health by means of self care helps people reach their full potential.

Mental Hygiene is Self Care and Self Care is Mental Hygiene. The act of putting yourself first without questioning it, in the same way you brushed your teeth this morning, can improve your mental hygiene and thus your mood. The next step is making it a habit and you can get there! Like most things, this is easier said than done. Have compassion for yourself as you make this a practice, understanding that like any habit, it takes time to develop. A quick tip is to remember how you view your personal hygiene, you don't beat yourself up if you forget to brush your teeth, you just start over again the next day!


bottom of page