Poor personal hygiene affects your mental health. Is it true?
One of the worst aspects of mental health is how it injects into many parts of your life. Some days, even mundane tasks like brushing teeth and taking a bath seem like an uphill battle.
Before jumping to conclusions, we must note it varies from one person to another. Self-care is a pretty serious issue for many people out there. They’d categorize you as gross and a freak show if you tell them how daunting it is for you to put on fresh pajamas. Yet the next day, you could spot the same person binging on fries at the corner of a cafeteria.
“How’d you hide those belly rings under your oh-so-expensive dress shirt, bro?” this is the first thought that pops into your mind upon looking at them.
Now, as I said, mental health seeps into many areas of our life. We all go through difficult times, and it crazily affects us all. Being aware of how challenges may bowl you over makes it easy to tone down the impact.
What defines poor personal hygiene?
The connection between mental illness and poor hygiene goes deeper than we can imagine. According to MedicineNet.com, poor hygiene is a sign of self-neglect. It often accompanies with emotional disorders like depression and psychotic troubles.
The following are some signs you might have a severe hygiene problem:
- Greasy hair
- Constant breakouts
- Dirty nails
- Fall sick often
- Usual eye infections and sties
- Washing hands less frequently
Poor hygiene increases the risk of bacterial and parasitic infections. The body accumulates bacteria leading to diseases like scabies, head lice, and athlete’s foot. Plus, other severe medical conditions may occur, such as influenza, roundworm, threadworm, giardiasis, common cold, and food poisoning.
The link between mental and physical health
Health advice is everywhere. But much of it speaks about your body. However, time and again, researchers come up with solid proof that mental and physical health are more closely knit together than we ever understand.
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes mental health as a state of well-being. It is a position where individuals realize their potential, manage the everyday stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their community.
On the contrary, being mentally tired eventually leads to fatigue. Declining heart health, a weakened immune system are also the effects of poor mental health.
Constant suppression of emotions and depression gradually makes you vulnerable to diseases. A study from Bangor University conducted on stationary bike riders has proven this fact. Likewise, there is plenty of research to support the link between mental and physical health.
Trouble conducting everyday hygienic acts. Why?
Most people shy away from seeking professional help when it comes to personal hygiene. They could not bring themselves to conduct basics like brushing teeth or taking showers. And they were unable to express it because it feels so disgusting and shameful.
Melissa A. Jones, Ph.D., HSPP, a clinical psychologist from Indiana, says this happens because they lack enough energy to do simple tasks. But why does it happen? How can your workplace fears or your grief stop you from these mundane activities?
Carla Manly, another clinical psychologist, says it happens because it leads to a loss of interest in maintaining hygiene. Some of her patients described depression as continually being under a grey cloud or stuck under a load of bricks. Along with depression, sensory processing disorders, or anxiety disorders make it hard to shower or work on personal hygiene.
Components of good personal hygiene
Practicing good hygiene requires you to follow a series of personal hygiene habits regularly. It involves washing hair and body every day to remove dead skin and bacteria. Brushing teeth twice a day helps to avoid the accumulation of bacteria inside the mouth.
Another practice is to wash hands every time before eating or preparing the meals, after using the restrooms and taking out the garbage.
There is also cleaning of nails that are essential to weeding out the bacteria from your body. One must trim fingernails, toenails, and keep their feet clean. Spa date with your plus one in The Lodge at Woodloch or The Ranch Malibu can turn out as a great detox of negativity from your life.
Along with that, focusing on your diet is also essential. We suggest you work on infusing healthy food habits, extract substance abuse (if any) from your life, and eat foods that will boost your immune system.
On top of it all, when you put on crisp and tidy clothing, it nails your entire appearance. You don’t need designer wears every time you head off to a party. Just make sure you are following the trends, and your clothes can resist the temperatures. Moisture-wicking underwear from Bn3th can be a good option for men. Meanwhile, wearing Under Armour HeatGear Armour leggings regulates the body temperature and wicks the sweat away for women.
Overall, good hygiene can help you stay healthy. It offers countless perks for your emotional, psychological, and physical health.
Self-care – the ultimate solution to combat mental illness
So far, we discussed how poor hygiene negatively impacts the mental health of an individual. There is a reverse association that we must understand, too. Psychologists often suggest their patients indulge in self-care activities. It serves two central purposes:
- Develops the ability to cope with ups and downs of life
- Sets healthy boundaries
Here are three tips to get you on self-care tracks:
Design a Sleep Schedule
According to Harvard Medical School, people with a history of insomnia are four times more likely to suffer from depression.
Simultaneously, more than 50 percent of people with anxiety and 90 percent with depression experience sleep troubles.
Creating a schedule and acquiring adequate sleep is an effective step towards improving mental health. It would be amazing if you worked on cutting screen time before going to sleep, cap the night off with your favorite herbal tea, and set a strict sleep time.
Go outdoors more often
Depression reduces the desire to get out of the house and breathe the fresh air. However, it is a proven solution for reducing depressive symptoms.
Dive into activities
Half of the human brain cortex is devoted to the hands. This is one of the reasons why working with hands is an effective way to reduce mental suffering. A simple art or cooking class can do wonders for your mental state. Consider involving yourself in any such activity to keep your mind off worries as you get new targets to achieve.
Verdict – poor personal hygiene closely connects with mental health
The connection of mental and physical health works vice versa, making us fuzzed about maintaining each. A practical solution is to take care of both.
Practice good hygiene and work on your mental state at the same time. If you are around someone who seems to have difficulty maintaining personal hygiene, discuss it privately with them without making them feel ashamed.
Psychology Today states that the most important thing to remember as you approach such a highly sensitive topic is to care about the other individual. You must genuinely want to help them and address the issue without feeling humiliated.
We hope you will be treading onto a fulfilling self-care journey after finishing off with this blog. Don’t forget to let us know how you plan to do so!
Deepa Mahar is an independent blogger and admin of DeepAdvices who is exploring the beauty of the blog writing from a variety of subjects and books to health, science and others. She believes the blog would be helpful to the reader in the context of knowledge. She is post-graduated with a degree of Biotechnology.