If you want to live a full and happy life, free from self-criticism, one of the first things you need to know is how to properly look after yourself. Yes, I’m talking about your self-care!
While we discuss self-care all the time, it is one thing to talk about it, and quite another to actually go about making it a reality. What’s more, we should accept that we won’t always be able to keep up with our personal self-care. There are going to be times for each of us when we falter and fail, and that is just the way it should be, for that is where many of the biggest lessons reside.
However, it’s important to look after yourself as best as you can – and with that in mind, we are going to take a look at what the essence of real self-care is.
What you need
If you want to take proper care of yourself, you will need to know fully what it is that you want/need as an individual in order to make sure you are happy and healthiest. This might sound elementary, but it is something that you need to look into if you want to be able to really focus on your self-care in a strong manner.
There are plenty of things that each of us needs, but starting with the essentials, you must have: good physical and mental health, strong and plentiful relationships, the ability and time to pursue our hobbies, the will to improve ourselves, the ability to forgive, a clean and happy home. There are many more necessities besides this, and a great exercise you can undertake is to think about what kind of things you need, which you perhaps don’t always allow yourself to have.
When to ask for help
It’s important to note that self-care doesn’t mean you are always the only one looking after yourself. In fact, an important tenet of self-care is that you are able to ask for help when you need it. This requires you to know when you need something and the kind of help you need to get the job done. These are life lessons that can take a long time to discover. So as long as you are working towards it, you should find you are capable of making it easier than you think.
When you know that you need to ask for help, don’t be afraid to do so. It may be that you need to speak to psychotherapists or that you just need to talk to a friend. In any case, whatever you need, make sure that you get it.
The hardest thing for many people is that they don’t know how to keep it up once they have started on a self-care path. It can be easy to let it all fall by the wayside, but ultimately, you are going to need to try and carry on if you want to show yourself some self-love. Try and persist, and you should find that it makes a huge difference in your mental and physical health.