Most children are brought up to be kind and respectful of other people. They are taught to consider others’ feelings and help those in need. However when it comes to taking care of themselves, many people lack the ability to consider their own needs a priority just like they do for everyone else in their lives.
To some, the concept of self-care is a foreign idea. The idea of putting their own needs first feels somehow wrong, or even selfish and can even be accompanied by a tremendous amount of guilt.
The good news is that it’s never too late to learn to treat yourself as you do others; and to place yourself on your list of importance in a healthy, energizing way. Here are some ways you can train your brain so it becomes increasingly easier to take care of yourself and recharge your life.
Learn to Say No
Being a caring and compassionate person is wonderful, but sacrificing yourself by saying “yes” all the time to other people’s needs will only deplete your energy and happiness. Learning to set boundaries and say no is not only your right, it’s your responsibility. Try to start saying no more often, free of guilt.
Ask for Help
When you’ve taken on the role of helping others, it can feel uncomfortable asking for help when you need it. After all, you’re the one people go to when in need.
The thing to remember is, all of these people who come to you for help feel no shame or discomfort in asking for it. They need help, they ask for it and they get it. Try to do the same. As soon as you release the pressure you’ve put on yourself to handle everything alone, you will feel a tremendous weight lifted.
Get to Know Yourself
What makes you tick? What do you like and dislike? People who are wired to neglect their own needs don’t typically know themselves very well.
Self-love and self-care require you get to know yourself. Take some time to discover what you enjoy. Once you find what it is that brings you joy, commit to doing it more often.
Taking these actions can have a tremendous impact on your life and even in the lives of those around you as well. As you get better and better at keeping your needs a priority, you will feel happier and more empowered and as a result, you will become a more natural and more effective help to those around you in more ways than you can imagine.
Some people may have an extremely hard time with these exercises depending on their upbringing, life experiences and self-esteem. The longer you have lived with the habit of self-neglect, the harder it is to make these kinds of positive changes.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.