People these days often make use of the term self-care in association with taking good care of oneself, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. You have probably been hearing things about self-care in your workplace or did encounter it somewhere else on earth and might have been wondering what that thing is for.
For those who have just heard this term, they often associate it with self-indulgence or being selfish since the words “self” and “care” make up the term and therefore they assume that it has something to do with doing or tending to do exactly what one desires to do or wishes to accomplish, especially when pleasure or idleness is involved. They also relate this to lack of consideration for others and being mainly concerned about one’s personal profit or gain.
To clear up this one common misapprehension, the term self-care has something to do with taking good care of oneself in order to be well and healthy. This is key to finding the right path towards caring for others since you need to learn to care for yourself first before you can pour out your care towards other people. Besides, this is also paramount to paving your way to accomplish things you desire and you want for yourself. The misconception that it is about self-indulgence and selfishness is out of the context.
During this time of world health crisis, everyone’s emotional and mental state were also affected. The overwhelming consequences of the pandemic have a great impact on the emotional and mental domains of some people. This eventually resulted in a pandemic of mental health issues and concerns.
You read it right. The world is saddled not only with the pandemic but also an epidemic of mental health issues. This has been aggravated by the negative impact of this pandemic that includes social isolation which greatly affects some people’s well-being and life in general.
This time, let us go over these 8 self-care tips which I have rounded up for you and which your future self will thank you for. These self care tips can help you with dealing with mental health issues that you might encounter in the future.
Self-care Tip No. 1: Meet your own needs. Meeting your own needs is paramount to achieving personal happiness. As an individual who desires what is best for himself, it is your job to fulfill these by doing things that can help you with meeting your own needs. Never expect nor demand somebody else to fulfill them for you. It is your utmost duty to fulfill your own needs from doing things that provide you with an accumulated range of positive emotions such as joy, amusement, interests, inspiration, and pride. Before you can show your concern towards other people, you have to give first the same concern you also need.
Similarly, you have to meet your own needs before meeting other people’s. It is not your job to meet theirs. It is not your job to meet everyone’s needs. Focus on your needs and try to meet them one by one. When that happens, when you finally met your own needs, it would be way easier for you to lend a hand to those you value most and help them meet theirs and eventually be happy.
Self-care Tip No. 2: Find your own happiness. Finding your own happiness lies in your desire and determination to look for it. Easier said than done, right? There are many channels where we can find our happiness. It can be found in the things we love doing, in creating goals which go beyond ourselves and eventually attaining them, in helping other people, in realizing our power over life, in having reached our dreams, in having contentment, and in many other ways. We may differ from one another when it comes to finding our own happiness.
The bottom line here is that it mainly depends on how we take actions and decide for ourselves. This is similar to meeting your own needs. You need to find your own happiness first before you can make other people happy. Do not fool yourself by thinking that making other people happy can make you happy as well. That does not always happen. At the end of the day, you’ll end up feeling empty and drained. You’ll feel like something is missing or lacking. Giving yourself the right amount of happiness you deserve before thinking about other people is not a selfish act. You need to find your own happiness. It is not your responsibility to make others happy. You alone deserve to be happy. Do not forget that.
Self-care Tip No. 3: Love yourself. For all the times that you think of your physical flaws or those which you do not have and linger on the things you wish you possess, you are not actually loving yourself. By doing so, instead of building up yourself, you actually are destroying every bit of self-worth it took you so many years to gather together. Loving yourself means giving yourself a sense of self-respect, self-worth, and self-confidence.
When we talk about loving yourself, it means accepting every good and bad you have about yourself. It is not just restrained to mean loving everything you have and being happy about how you look. Loving yourself also entails having a high regard for your well-being and recognizing your need to be happy. Loving yourself does not mean being liked by everyone. These are two different things. Aim at liking yourself -loving yourself. It is not your goal to be liked by everyone. Love yourself, and that’s what matters most. When you do what’s best for yourself, not only physically, mentally, psychologically, but also in all aspects of your well-being, you are showing self-love. You value what gives you pleasure, what makes you happy, and what grants you self-worth.
Self-care Tip No. 4: Create clear boundaries. Building clear boundaries for yourself is one way to give yourself the self-care you need. It is crucial to self-care. As an individual, it is your duty to create not just clear boundaries but also healthy boundaries. By the word “boundaries” we mean physical or emotional borders. These boundaries can take many forms as from being loose to being rigid.
When you make healthy boundaries, it means you ensure your stability when it comes to your emotional and mental state. For instance, you know who to avoid in your workplace for their negative or toxic behavior and when you tell your co-worker or a member of the family to refrain from going over your personal stuff like diary or journal, you are already setting clear boundaries. Never apologize to anyone for having set clear and healthy boundaries for yourself. Remember, you have the full control of what you want to absorb in your head or even what you want to allow yourself to feel. You control your life, do not let yourself be dragged into something they pushed you at and be forced to do something you don’t like – especially when that won’t bring you any good or make you any better.
Self-care Tip No. 5: Be of Support to others. Let us admit, no matter how strong your desire is to be kind all the time towards every person you meet, there will come a point in your life where you will be in a crossroad of choices. Whether it be a choice that will benefit you, or the other one that will benefit the other. When you reach that point in your life, choose to be kind. This is for the reason that being kind does not mean loosing what you have. It does not mean you have to give up something you have for the benefit of other people. It is far different from being kind. That’s more of a sacrifice.
What I am trying to tell you here is to be kind and be of great support to other people, to every person you meet. There are absolutely many ways on how to do that. For instance, by actively listening to someone’s saddest tale or difficult experience, or a sharing of a problem of any sort. By simply not judging them based on how they confront a problem or handle a situation, you can show your support to them. When they celebrate success, you celebrate with them. When they tell you their aspirations, their dreams, their future plans, go and support them. However, if you’re too confined in a thought that supporting them means you -resolving their struggles in their stead and ending up loss and placed in a sticky situation, that’s not how you show your support. You can help them, that’s fine. But sometimes, supporting them or helping them does not entail that you have to loose something you have to save them or fix their problems. It is not your job to fix their problems in their stead if you are not capable , or if you lack any means. Do not go down there. You give what you can, but make a room or save for yourself.
Self-care Tip No. 6: Be gentle with yourself. Life gets rough. Life throws you adversities or challenges. We succeed and fail sometimes. And that’s okay. That’s normal. As cliché as it may sound, when life throws you lemons, make some lemonade. Do not waste your time and energy trying to impose on yourself that it is your fault. That you are entirely responsible of what happened or how something turned out. Do not spend much time blaming yourself when you did not reach a goal, or attain what you aimed at. Do not wallow in guilt or punish yourself for something you were not able to obtain. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just learn to accept the fact that there are things that you cannot control. Well, you can exhaust all the means you have just to get through something, and when you end up failing, it’s not your fault. Give yourself that gentleness you are so willing to give others.
Self-care Tip No. 7: Be responsible for your own emotions. This is a self-care tip which comes after you learned how to love yourself. You know exactly when to be responsible for what you feel. As an individual who tries to establish self-care, self-esteem, or self-worth, you need not to take care of the reactions of other people around you. It is not your job. You were not born to do that in such a similar way that you were not raised by your mom and dad to take care of their reactions. Your emotions matter. If doing something will make you feel happier, then do so. What they are going to say about you and what you do should not outweigh your worth. Instead, you should be after what you can get out of doing something. Taking care of what their reactions is not your very function on this planet. Your emotions alone matter. You matter. Give yourself a chance to realize that.
Self-care Tip No. 8: Learn when and how to seek for some help. As mentioned, life is hard. You don’t have to waste your time and energy trying to figure out where you lack something, or what you could have done to improve the situation. Once done, it’s all done. As how they often say it, the damage has already been done. But, the world does not end there. The earth does not stop from rotating on its axis from the moment your “failure-scenario” or your sticky situation took place. It continues to rotate on its own. That’s something that tells you that you have to move on and move forward. Well, that’s after you exhausted all your means and you used the last resort that you have. What I am trying to tell you is that, when you are beset by a problem or a grueling situation, and you already tried doing things you know to resolve it or fix it and you still ended up not resolving the issue, it is totally fine. Perhaps, you have to learn when and how to seek for some help. Maybe, what you are going through right now cannot be resolved by you alone. Maybe it takes four hands, six, or eight, or more. Maybe a brilliant idea awaits you once you reach out for help. You never know, right? You would not know, unless you try. Understand that some things may become too much of a burden for you; that some situations are too difficult to handle. You have to understand as well that a problem shared is a problem halved.
Giving yourself the self-care you need is never a selfish act. You also need to feel that you are valued, even by yourself. Life may throw you a hundred of adversities that you have to face in order to prove your mettle. You probably have silent battles which you overcome on your own. You might be facing a sticky situation that might have been troubling you for quite some time. Just face it. That too shall pass.
When at times, you feel like you are not enough or that you lack something and you think that resulted in the chaos that you are in right now. Please, never do that again. We do not always end up winning. We sometimes lose too. And that’s okay. There are things which you cannot control.
Remember, that when confronted with challenges, we also tend to become vulnerable, at times. You become weak and helpless. When that happens, be sure that you had saved some worth for yourself prior to that circumstance. The only way for you to do that is by practicing self-care.