Tips for self care this Mental Health Awareness Month

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Thursday is the first annual Mental Health Action Day and companies, nonprofits and leaders are teaming up to elevate awareness for mental health challenges and to provide tangible tools to help.

One expert is sharing helpful tips on how you can take care of yourself.

"We are great at being very compassionate to others but not necessarily ourselves, it is really important to care for ourselves as we would a good friend," said psychologist Dr. Shannon O'Neill.

O'Neill is a psychologist at Mount Sinai hospital and urges people to prioritize themselves.

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She said there are very simple ways to do so including your water intake, eating healthy, moving your body and getting a good night's rest.

"There are different stages of sleep that we go through every night and all of those are directly impacting not just physical health but emotional health as well," O'Neill said.

Self care also consists of treating yourself to simple pleasures.



"Buying your favorite food, or your flowers or making something for yourself, such as cooking your favorite meal and having your ideal night, putting those things into place just because is a good way to give yourself a little bit of compassion that we readily give to others," O'Neill said.

Five minutes of mediation or a stroll can also serve you well.

"One of the safest places for us to be right now is outside, so don't miss out on that sunlight, which positively impacts not only your sleep but your mood," O'Neill said.

And set aside that time for yourself. Put it on your calendar and schedule it.

"It is absolutely critical, we need to care for ourselves in order to care for others that are most important to us," O'Neill said.

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