You Can Learn To Take Care Of Yourself The Same Way That You Care For Loved Ones

Aug 06, 2022

You can learn to take care of yourself the same way that you care for loved ones

(Photo by Madison Inouye)

If you don't, then who will?

Think about the pre-flight speech on an airplane, where flight attendants tell you what to do in the event of an emergency. They will tell you to put on your oxygen mask before you attempt to help anyone else with theirs. The reason for this is that you will be able to help others once you have a steady flow of oxygen. Without it, you may pass out and need help yourself. 

This idea can apply to your everyday life. What we mean is, you need to take care of yourself first. You need to put on your self care "oxygen mask" before you help others with their lives. 

If we're going to continue with this analogy, absolutely do not wait until the plane (your mental health) is in danger. Keeping up with your self care over time will make it easier to weather storms. You can keep clouds from coming up, and keep the plane flying smoothly.

Getting started

Think of "love" as a verb. An action that you can perform. Loving yourself can take many forms. Making sure that you eat healthy, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep. Maintaining your personal hygiene and taking personal time for yourself. These are all ways to show yourself love.

You may already be exhausted. If this is true, you will need time and space to recharge. It's important to take this time and use it for things that make you feel more energy when you do them. Hobbies, friends, getting outside, whatever charges your batteries.

Taking ownership of your time

Whether it be at work or in your social life, you may find yourself agreeing to give more of your time to others. More time than you can really afford. Set boundaries. Set a limit to how much of your time can get used for other people, and how much you need for what's most important for you. This is critical to maintaining a healthy balance. Either you're saying no to them, or you're saying it to yourself.

It can feel bad to tell someone that you can't come to their function or miss an after work get-together. But you must tell the truth and take time for yourself. You need to be able to relax and spend some time on things that make you happy. Failure to do this may result in you lashing out when you reach the end of your rope and have no more to give.

How environment affects feelings

Mess and clutter can create a state of overstimulation and stress. Organizing your surroundings can help you feel pride in your living and work space. Let yourself know that you deserve to have a nice, clean area. Show yourself you matter.

Every little thing that's out of place, or needs cleaning, becomes a task on a subconscious list. These tasks, small as they may be, can compound. They can cause you anxiety and make relaxation difficult, if not impossible. 

Try setting aside 5 minutes a day to organize and clean the areas that you spend the most time in. Do it for a week and then ask yourself how you feel. Do you feel less anxious? Are you more relaxed in your space?

Invest in your wellbeing

Schedule time to do things that relax you or make you happy. Journal about your thoughts and feelings. Read a book that you haven't gotten around to. Go visit a friend or relative that you haven't seen for a while. Watch a movie, take a walk, anything to use your leisure time in a way that recharges your batteries.

Take some time at the beginning of each week to plan personal time. You don't have to get specific, just block out a chunk of time, only for you. 

Making yourself a priority is a great way to show yourself that you are worth love and care. Of course, schedules change. But always remember that you are important, valuable, and worthy of care.

Continue Your Journey