Self care is not selfish thing

Often times, when we do something for ourselves, it is considered selfish. Growing up it is common to be taught to take care of other people and put others first. However, when it comes to our mental and emotional health, these types of actions of neglecting yourself to put others first can have huge consequences.

Self-care can be confusing and it can make you feel like you are putting too much attention on yourself. But remember, self-care never has and never will be selfish, especially when it comes to mental health.

In order to take care of other people, you must take care of yourself first. 

Why Self-Care is Important

Self-Care is one of the most important things that a person can do for themselves. It is not only vital for your physical health, but also your emotional and mental health as well.

There are many misconceptions around self-care and what exactly it entails. However, self-care is really not that complicated. At the most basic level,

self-care is just doing good things for yourself. This could be anything from working out, to taking an hour every night to journal, anything that makes you feel good.

Self-care requires you to know and understand yourself. You are forced to listen to your body and mind, understand what resources are running low and what you have to do to replenish them. 

There are many benefits that come with performing self-care. Some of them include increased productivity, improved resistance to illnesses & better physical health are just a few. These benefits are just the beginning.  Some of the other, more personal benefits are, enhanced self-esteem, increased self-knowledge, and most importantly, you have more to give to other people.

When you are mindful about reguarily carving out time for yourself and making sure that your physical, emotional, and mental needs are being met, you will feel better in all aspects of your life.

This makes it easier for you to work with and help others in their time of need. Just like when you are on an airplane, you have to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else. 

Stigma Around Self-Care

Self-care can be hard, not only because of the stigma that surrounds it, but because it can be extremely difficult to admit that you need help or to take care of yourself when you are struggling with your own mental health.

Growing up, it is extremely common to hear that you should put others before yourself. Kids are taught that being too vain or thinking about yourself is selfish. When you take time to take care of yourself, friends and family may start to get frustrated or say that you need to spend more time thinking about others and spending time with them.

Read also: We need support, not stigma. How do we end the stigma around mental illness and start talking about it?

However, the worst stigma, is self-stigma. The voice in your head that tells you to stop focusing on yourself, saying that you don’t deserve the time or attention that you are giving yourself.

You start to think about all of the things that you are neglecting and the people who deserve your attention more. However, this self-stigma, and any outside stigma, is far from true.

By taking care of yourself you are making sure that you will be able to help and encourage others.  

How you can Take Care of Yourself 

Self-care can be difficult because of the stigma that comes with it. However, understanding how, and being able to take care of yourself is one of the strongest things that you can do.

It is also important to distinguish between the things that actually make you feel good and things that you think make you feel good, but often have the reverse effect, like drugs & alcohol, over-eating, and taking risks. 

There are many different types of self-care; the most well-known is physical self-care. When people say that they are trying to take care of themselves this is often what they mean.

Physical self-care can be helpful not only for your physical health but also to help you let off steam. This doesn’t have to be going to the gym, it can also mean dancing around the house to your favorite song, doing yoga, or going outside and going for a walk. This could also be taking a nap when you need some extra rest or giving yourself a break when you are down or unwell.

However, while physical health is important and this type of self-care can make a huge difference, it can also be harmful to your mental health if you focus on your physical self too much and too often. Working out and getting the ‘perfect’ body isn’t what self-care is all about.

It is vital to remember the other parts of yourself that need to be taken care of, make sure that you aren’t focusing on the outer-self to avoid taking care of your inner-self. 

Sensory self-care helps to calm the mind. This will help you to live in the moment, focus better, and let go of the past and forget your anxieties.

This type of self-care is all about sight, smell, touch, and sound. This could be considered sitting outside at the beach, enjoying the feeling of the water on your skin from a shower or a bath, or listening to calming music. Anything that helps you feel calm and relaxed. 

Take It Day By Day

We Generate Fears While We Sit. We Overcome Them By Action.

Dr. Henry Link

We are asked all our lives, by our peers, our teachers, loved ones and visitors, ‘How old are you?’ in schools, functions, gatherings and on the streets. We mumble our answer in a monotonous tone until we pass school or college. After this, we feel as if we are on our own. We start to dread this question. Why?

Because the question takes quite a different turn as we grow up. Often joining hands with another following question ‘Well, what have you done in your life until now?’ 

Leaves us speechless sometimes, doesn’t it? 

How We Compare And Why We Compare

We see our peers doing extraordinary things in their lives. Going around the world, taking various responsibilities, beginning their careers, and making the most out of their time. We judge our accomplishments with their’s and underestimate ourselves. 

The Only Limit To Our Realization Of Tomorrow Will Be Our Doubts Of Today.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The dream of early success is so over-glorified, in the media, in society and well, on our dreams itself. The vision of getting a well-paid job in our 20s and settling down in a middle-class luxury life is a common desire. But is this what life is all about?

What about the skills we have acquired throughout our lives? Our experiences? Our creations? Most of all, What good have we done for society? 

What is Life All About?

Life is not just about mere existence. The capitalist world makes us aspire for a luxurious life but speaks nothing on the moral deeds we should do and how learning is a constant process in life, not merely something we finish in schools and institutions.

Learning has no age limit. We are never too old to learn something new and do our part. Several icons of the modern world whom we admire have paid their share of creations well after their thirties and more. 

What You Lack In Talent Can Be Made Up With Desire, Hustle And Giving 110% All The Time.

Don Zimmer

For instance, comedian Steve Carell; who is known blockbuster hit such as “The Big Short” staring as Micheal Scott in The Office, didn’t land his hit role as Michael Scott until 42 years of age. 

Other famous cases of late successes are Ricky Gervais(creator of The Office); Arianna Huffington (Founder of HuffPost) and even J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved Harry Potter books, started writing the first book of the world-famous franchise well into her thirties. All of their life events towards success continue to inspire us in addition to their inventions staying immortal.  

This doesn’t mean we should hold our lives in pause mode and hope for the best, that life will figure itself out as we age. A person must have a moral aim in their life. We must aspire to create, innovate and inspire ourselves at every point since the start. It depends on the quality, not quantity. 

Swami Vivekananda did great things in his short lifetime. One doesn’t have to be him to attain noble things; One should take the great monk’s values and aspire to do charitable deeds in their lives for the society and themselves. 

Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda’s popular quote often serves as a great inspiration when we feel at our lowest:- 

Arise, awake and do not stop until the goal is reached.

Swami Vivekananda

A person doesn’t simply become great in a day at something. It takes a deal of consistent effort to be exemplary at something. After all, practice makes perfect. We must fail at times to learn from mistakes and rise strong. Failures are the pillars of success. Famous talk show host Oprah was fired from her job as an anchor, but she took failure as an experience. Now she is one of the most popular figures in today’s world and the cherry on top, a billionaire. 

Everybody has a calling. And your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you were meant to be, and to begin to honor that in the best way possible for yourself.

Oprah Winfrey

Our aspirations in life might not come easy, be done in a short while, and might often make us discouraged and have us abhor life itself. Don’t care about what others are doing in their lives, go at your pace. During these moments in time, we must remember, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. If there’s a true passion for the right cause, a rational purpose, then no one can stop you from achieving your ambition. Remember as you age, you are not getting ‘old’, you are getting better. 

Discrimination

Discrimination is the unfair or prejudicial treatment of people and groups based on characteristics such as race, gender, age or sexual orientation. That’s the simple answer. But explaining why it happens is more complicated.

The human brain naturally puts things in categories to make sense of the world. Very young children quickly learn the difference between boys and girls, for instance. But the values we place on different categories are learned – from our parents, our peers and the observations we make about how the world works. Often, discrimination stems from fear and misunderstanding.

Laws are in place to protect people from discrimination in housing and employment.

  • The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability.
  • The Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, sex, ethnic origin, age and disabilities. But Unfortunately, discrimination still occurs. 

Dealing with discrimination Finding healthy ways to deal with discrimination is important, for your physical health and your mental well-being.

Focus on your strengths. Focusing on your core values, beliefs and perceived strengths can motivate people to succeed, and may even buffer the negative effects of bias. Overcoming hardship can also make people more resilient and better able to face future challenges.

Seek support systems. One problem with discrimination is that people can internalize others’ negative beliefs, even when they’re false. You may start to believe you’re not good enough. But family and friends can remind you of your worth and help you reframe those faulty beliefs.

Family and friends can also help counteract the toll that microagressions and other examples of daily discrimination can take. In a world that regularly invalidates your experiences and feelings, members of your support network can reassure you that you’re not imagining those experiences of discrimination. Still, it’s sometimes painful to talk about discrimination. It can be helpful to ask friends and family how they handle such events.

Get involved. Support doesn’t have to come from people in your family or circle of friends. You can get involved with like-minded groups and organizations, whether locally or online. It can help to know there are other people who have had similar experiences to yours. And connecting with those people might help you figure out how to address situations and respond to experiences of discrimination in ways you haven’t thought of.

Help yourself think clearly. Being the target of discrimination can stir up a lot of strong emotions including anger, sadness and embarrassment. Such experiences often trigger a physiological response, too; they can increase your blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.

Try to check in with your body before reacting. Slow your breathing or use other relaxation exercises to calm your body’s stress response. Then you’ll be able to think more clearly about how you want to respond.

Don’t dwell. When you’ve experienced discrimination, it can be really hard to just shake it off. People often get stuck on episodes of discrimination, in part because they’re not sure how to handle those experiences. You might want to speak out or complain, but you’re not sure how to go about it, or are afraid of the backlash. So instead, you end up ruminating, or thinking over and over about what you should have done.

But rumination can make things worse. Researchers have found that while traumatic experiences are a significant cause of anxiety and depression, people who ruminate, or dwell on, those negative thoughts and experiences report more stress and anxiety.

In a calmer moment, it might be helpful to talk over the ways you can cope with similar experiences in the future. Try to come up with a plan for how you might respond or what you could do differently next time. Once you’ve determined how to respond, try to leave the incident behind you as you go on with your day.

Seek professional help.  Discrimination is difficult to deal with, and is often associated with symptoms of depression. Psychologists are experts in helping people manage symptoms of stress and depression, and can help you find healthy ways to cope.

IS PROCRASTINATION POISONOUS TO HUMANS?

Did you ever involve yourself in something very trivial , when you had an important assignment submission or work? Did you ever regret not doing the job right?. If yes , then that’s what we call procrastination. Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something that needs to be accomplished within a given period […]

IS PROCRASTINATION POISONOUS TO HUMANS?

Imposter syndrome : Is it real?

Have you ever felt that you don’t deserve an award you’ve won ? Like you don’t belong somewhere? Like people might discover that you are a fraud , and that you don’t deserve the position you’re in ? Then this is called ‘ THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME’. It’s a psychological pattern in which a person doubts […]

Imposter syndrome : Is it real?

Importance Of Staying Positive

In a world full of “glass half empty”, it is important for us to be the “glass half full”. Some people are happy even when their situations are challenging. And some people, no matter how comfortable they are, they always feel like they are still lacking something in their lives, which ultimately makes them sad.

Human is a materialistic being. After s/he gains one thing, they get their eyes set on another. Humans always want more than what they have. For some, it works as an extrinsic motivation which may or may not be healthy for them.

Some believe that if you persistently think of wanting something, you will just magically get it without putting actual efforts. And when they don’t get it, for obvious reasons, they blame their ‘destiny’. But let’s not talk about these people. Let’s look into the lives of people who are genuinely happy and satisfied with their lives.

These people are quite rarely found in our society. Such people aren’t running after materialistic things. They love to live in the moment and make the best out of a situation. Even when all odds are against them, they manage to find one positive thing that keeps them going.

For example, I was out for a morning run in our community park when it suddenly started pouring. It was around 6:30 in the morning. Everyone took shelter under a tree a or nearby shed. I too, went under a shed to protect myself from the rain. That’s when my eyes landed on an old couple who looked around the age of early 60s. They were still out there and we’re now soaking wet. All their clothes stuck to their bodies and their shoes looked wet too. But, they were laughing and smiling. If I can recall correctly, they were even dancing merrily. A guy beside me, around my age, yelled at them telling them to take shelter from the rain. They just looked at him and laughed. A woman in late 30s mumbled ‘Great. Now I am going to get late. The road is going to be filled with water. Ugh.. What am I going to do..’

That’s when I saw the old couple again as they continued laughing and enjoying the weather. Since I was on school break I decided to see why they were so happy. I myself got out of the shed and the moment I did that my clothes turned wet. But then I realized something. The water felt nice against my body and brought coolness inside me. I suddenly started enjoing the rain and started walking around.

Now that I think about it, I too got scolded by my mother for getting wet in the rain. And I think I even caught the flu. But those moments when I was enjoying the rain, I never regretted them. Since then, I understood that if we spend our entire lives worrying about one thing or the other, we will never really get to live in the moment.

Yes, I know it’s easier said than done. Everyone’s situations are different. Everyone’s lives are stressed. Especially in these times. But if we try to look at the brighter side of the picture, it might just help us learn to cope with the current situation. It won’t be easy. Because the glass right now looks half empty. But with practising, we can start looking at things in a somewhat positive light!