Sometimes, when we’re feeling stressed and running around taking care of everybody else, the healthiest thing we can do is to stop and consider how we can take care of ourselves.
While this seems obvious to some people, many of us struggle with the idea of putting ourselves first. We were raised to think we should always put others before ourselves and ignore our own needs—that it is somehow arrogant or self-centered, and not a nice thing to do.
So, why is self-care not held in high regard as the essential practice that it is for our well-being?
Here, I take a look at some misconceptions that hold us back from looking after the most important person in our lives, explore why self-care is better for others around us-
1. We think self-care means being selfish.
Taking care of ourselves is the opposite of being selfish, as it strengthens us and enables us to support our loved ones better. We are no use to anyone if our energy is depleted because we have given every last bit of it away. Self-care is an antidote to stress, as it builds resilience so we can better cope with challenges.
Just think how they tell us to put on our oxygen mask first on an airplane before we help others. Yes, absolutely support others, but nurture yourself first.
2. We confuse “rescuing” with caring.
We often sacrifice self-care because we’re too busy trying to save everyone else. But people have to learn their own lessons in life, however painful that is. Who are you to decide that you know what is right for them? Now that is selfish, as it’s based on your own desires for them, which may not truly be in their best interests.
The way we can really help is to focus on ourselves and stop trying to run others’ lives. While we think we’re caring by “rescuing” them from unpleasant experiences in their lives, we are denying them the opportunity to face their own challenges, and grow stronger or learn a lesson from doing so.life gayan
I don’t mean we should never help people, but there is a difference between providing support for somebody who asks and taking it upon ourselves to save somebody and make their life turn out in a way that we think it should.
3. We are accustomed to relationships based on neediness, not real love.
We often fall in love with the idea of being in love, because we watch Hollywood films that portray love as dramatic and needing to be with somebody 24/7.
When we give from this place, we give too much, because we believe we have to die for that person and other such dramatic statements. As Ernest Hemmingway wrote in Men Without Women, “The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much and forgetting that you are special too.”
Instead of spending our every waking hour thinking about that other person and forgetting ourselves, we (and our partners!) would be better served by focusing on ourselves. This way, we’ll be able to give from a place of wholeness, without expecting anything in return or feeling resentful.
4. We don’t realize we teach people how to treat us.
We teach people how to treat us by our own actions and attitude toward ourselves. By putting signs out there that you are a rescuer and will sacrifice yourself to help others, you attract the sort of people who want to be rescued and for whom it has to be all about them—not a balanced relationship.
Then, you have made it a self-fulfilling prophecy, by effectively bringing about what you always complain that you attract: people who take advantage of your good nature.
Here, it is useful to question whether they have really taken everything we have or if we have voluntarily given it all to them. Yes, they have played a part, but we can’t change them. We only have control over our own actions, so what part did we play?
Also, although this can be hard to hear, there is always a pay-off for us. Is it that you always get to be the “nice guy” or the “victim”? Take a long hard look now…
5. We don’t realize our worth.
Ultimately, it boils down to the fact that we think others are worth more than us. If we are confident in our love for ourselves and treat ourselves as if we are worthy, then that is what we will attract back.( I will soon make a video over it. Maybe in a month or so)
Yes, I’m afraid it comes down to that whole self-love thing again! There is a reason why this is a cliché, though, because the key to meaningful relationships really is to love ourselves first.
So, What Does Self-Care Look Like?
Self-care is essential for us all, but looks different from person to person. We are all individuals with different preferences. Listen to your inner voice to find out what makes you content. Sometimes we can’t even hear our own inner voice because we are so busy anticipating the needs of those we care about, so you might have to listen carefully at first.
What’s your most important self-care practice?
comment your thoughts below.