Unconventional Self-Care Tips for Mental Health Recovery

February 6, 2023 Laura A. Barton

Have you ever considered a mental health self-care tip and thought, "That’s not for me?" I know I have. Those kinds of tips used to make me feel even worse about myself because, gosh, how broken was I really if those didn't appeal to or work for me? The secret is that I’m not any more broken than the next person. I just had to find what works for me, even if it’s an unconventional self-care exercise. Doing that really helped me make strides in my recovery.

3 Unconventional Self-Care Tips

There are a variety of things I do and have done for self-care throughout my mental health recovery process. Below I highlight three that really made a difference.

  1. Recognize your mental health struggles for what they are. Toxic positivity is a thing, and I’m not a fan of forcing myself to see a positive or silver lining while ignoring something bad. While I don’t mean to say we should wallow in our struggles with mental illness and recovery, it’s time to remove the rose-colored glasses. The key thing that’s helped me in recovering from my mental health struggles has been recognizing and accepting them for what they are and then working with that information to create a forward motion toward recovery.
  2. Consume content you enjoy, even online. A common tip for mental health self-care is to reduce your screen time and get outside. I don’t know about you, but I’m not an “outside person” and would much rather stay inside and read, watch videos, or listen to music. I think the general self-care tip is reducing harmful screen time—for instance, doom scrolling on social media or getting swept up in the parts of the online world that make you unhappy. But if reading fanfiction for hours on end brings you peace, have at it. If binge-watching a creator’s entire video roster quiets your mind, go for it. If discovering new favorite songs makes you feel something besides awful, embrace it.
  3. Evaluate and make changes to your relationships as necessary. We often talk about connecting with others as a self-care tip in mental health recovery. I know I have, and it’s a great tip. But, on the other side of the coin, it’s also important to look at each of our relationships and see if they’re helping or hurting your recovery. Speaking from personal experience, this is not an easy step to take. In a time when you feel like you want nothing more than to be embraced, it can hurt like hell to have to disengage or make changes to how you connect with a person. The truth of the matter, however, is that not every relationship has a positive impact on our recovery.

If you take anything away from this blog post, I hope you see that mental health self-care is what you make it. We’re each an individual, so it’s totally okay if the conventional or even unconventional self-care tips don’t vibe with you. Find what does work for you and run with it.

APA Reference
Barton, L. (2023, February 6). Unconventional Self-Care Tips for Mental Health Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: Laura A. Barton

Laura A. Barton is a fiction and non-fiction writer from Ontario, Canada. Follow her writing journey and book love on Instagram, and Goodreads.

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