Psychological self care

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Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others. Mental health is more than the absence of a mental illness—it’s essential to your overall health and quality of life. Self-care can play a role in maintaining your mental health and help support your treatment and recovery if you have a mental illness.

About Self-Care

Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.

Here are some tips to help you get started with self-care:

  • Get regular exercise.  Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your health. Small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at one time.
  • Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated. A balanced diet and plenty of water can improve your energy and focus throughout the day. Also, limit caffeinated beverages such as soft drinks or coffee.
  • Make sleep a priority. Stick to a schedule, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Blue light from devices and screens can make it harder to fall asleep, so reduce blue light exposure from your phone or computer before bedtime.
  • Try a relaxing activity. Explore relaxation or wellness programs or apps, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Schedule regular times for these and other healthy activities you enjoy such as journaling.
  • Set goals and priorities. Decide what must get done now and what can wait. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. Try to be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
  • Practice gratitude. Remind yourself daily of things you are grateful for. Be specific. Write them down at night, or replay them in your mind.
  • Focus on positivity. Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
  • Stay connected. Reach out to your friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical help.

Self-care looks different for everyone, and it is important to find what you need and enjoy. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. In addition, although self-care is not a cure for mental illnesses, understanding what causes or triggers your mild symptoms and what coping techniques work for you can help manage your mental health.

For other ideas for healthy practices for your mind, body, surroundings, and relationships, see the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Wellness Toolkits.

When to Seek Professional Help

Seek professional help if you are experiencing severe or distressing symptoms that have lasted 2 weeks or more, such as:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Appetite changes that result in unwanted weight changes
  • Struggling to get out of bed in the morning because of mood
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable
  • Inability to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities

Don’t wait until your symptoms are overwhelming. Talk about your concerns with your primary care provider, who can refer you to a mental health professional if needed. If you don’t know where to start, read the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Tips for Talking With a Health Care Provider About Your Mental Health. Learn more about how to get help or find a provider on the NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.

What to Do in a Crisis

If you or someone you know is struggling or having thoughts of suicide, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat at 988lifeline. org. This service is confidential, free, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In life-threatening situations, call 911. 

For additional information about suicide prevention, please see NIMH’s Suicide Prevention webpage.

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Learn More

Federal Resources

  • NIH Emotional Wellness Toolkit: This NIH toolkit provides six strategies for improving your emotional health.
  • NIH Social Wellness Toolkit: This NIH toolkit provides six strategies for improving your social health.
  • MedlinePlus: How to Improve Mental Health: MedlinePlus provides health information and tips for improving your mental health.
  • CDC: Care for Yourself: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information on caring for yourself.
  • CDC: Coping With Stress: CDC provides information on how to cope with stress.

Other Resources

Note: This list of non-federal resources is provided for informational purposes only. It is not comprehensive and does not constitute an endorsement by NIMH, NIH, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. government.

  • DBSA Wellness Toolbox (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)
  • Live Your Life Well (Mental Health America)
  • Mental Health: Keeping Your Emotional Health (American Academy of Family Physicians)

Last Reviewed: December 2022

Unless otherwise specified, NIMH information and publications are in the public domain and available for use free of charge. Citation of NIMH is appreciated. Please see our Citing NIMH Information and Publications page for more information.

What Is Self-Care and Why Is It Critical for Your Health?

By Moira LawlerMedically Reviewed by Justin Laube, MD


Medically Reviewed

Let’s clear up one common misconception from the get-go: Self-care is not synonymous with self-indulgence or being selfish. Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, you can do your job, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day.

If you think you’ve been hearing more about self-care now, you’re right. One indicator: According to Google Trends, the number of searches for “self-care” has more than doubled since 2015.

Paula Gill Lopez, PhD, an associate professor and chair of the department of psychological and educational consultation at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, says the need for self-care is obvious. “We have an epidemic of anxiety and depression,” she says. “Everybody feels it.”

Self-care is part of the answer to how we can all better cope with daily stressors, explains Kelsey Patel, a Los Angeles–based wellness expert and the author of the forthcoming book Burning Bright: Rituals, Reiki, and Self-Care to Heal Burnout, Anxiety, and Stress. It’s work stress. It’s the stress of trying to keep up with the pace of daily life, which technology has hastened more than ever (just think how many emails come flooding into your inbox each day). “People are feeling lonelier and less able to unwind and slow down, which makes them feel more anxious and overwhelmed by even the simplest tasks,” Patel says.

RELATED: A Guide to Understanding Stress — Including How to Manage It

At Everyday Health, self-care is taking steps to tend to your physical and emotional health needs to the best of your ability.

Here, we explore the trend, where the definition of self-care comes from, and what it can do for your long-term health.

What Is Self-Care, and Why Is It Critical for Your Well-Being?

Several organizations and researchers take a health-oriented approach when defining self-care. The World Health Organization defines self-care as: “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.

According to this definition, self-care includes everything related to staying physically healthy — including hygiene, nutrition, and seeking medical care when needed. It’s all the steps an individual can take to manage stressors in his or her life and take care of his or her own health and well-being.

RELATED: Wellness and Self-Care During Radical Movements

What Is Self-Care?

Common Questions & Answers

What are the benefits of practicing self-care?

Self-care is anything you do to take care of yourself so you can stay physically, mentally, and emotionally well. Its benefits are better physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being. Research suggests self-care promotes positive health outcomes, such as fostering resilience, living longer, and becoming better equipped to manage stress.

Can self-care help prevent disease or illness?

While self-care can help prevent future health problems, it alone is not a cure or treatment for disease or illness. For those living with a chronic disease (such as heart disease or cancer), however, practicing self-care may help patients with managing symptoms, bolstering other aspects of health, and improving emotional well-being.

What are some examples of self-care?

Common examples of self-care include: maintaining a regular sleeping routine, eating healthy, spending time in nature, doing a hobby you enjoy, and expressing gratitude. Self-care can look different for everyone, but to count as self-care, the behavior should promote health and happiness for you.

How do I start a self-care routine?

To get into a routine of regularly practicing self-care, experts recommend starting small rather than tackling the most challenging thing first. Choose one practice each week to weave into your daily routine. Note any positive changes, and add in more practices when you feel ready.

Some researchers have adopted a similarly clinical approach. A 2010 study published in JBI Library of Systematic Reviews defined self-care as "the set of activities in which one engages throughout life on a daily basis,” focusing on promoting health, preventing illness, and managing issues that come up.

A study published in BMC Palliative Care in April 2018 took self-care to mean “the self-initiated behavior that people choose to incorporate to promote good health and general well-being.” The study authors added that it’s about being healthy but also about incorporating coping strategies to deal with work stressors.

In 2019 researchers published a self-care framework in The BMJ to specifically point out that in addition to self-care being the activities individuals do on their own to promote physical and emotional health, it also includes the ways that individuals interact with clinicians and healthcare systems to tend to physical and emotional health. That means self-care includes things like getting a vaccine, scheduling cancer screenings, or taking prescription medications on schedule — but healthcare providers and organizations play a role, too, in how well individuals engage in these self-care practices. In other words: There are a lot of people and factors that bear on any one individual’s ability to engage in self-care.

As self-care has become more mainstream, the definitions have started to become more applicable to the general public and tend to focus on tuning in to one’s needs and meeting those needs. “Self-care is anything that you do for yourself that feels nourishing,” says Marni Amsellem, PhD, a licensed psychologist based in Trumbull, Connecticut.

“That can be something that’s relaxing or calming, or it can be something that is intellectual or spiritual or physical or practical or something you need to get done,” she says.

The International Self-Care Foundation also includes health literacy as a pillar of self-care, meaning that any steps you take toward better understanding health information you need to make appropriate decisions about your health and well-being counts as self-care, too.

This is why at Everyday Health, self-care is all the steps you take to tend to your physical and emotional health in the ways you are best able to do so.

Self-care requires checking in with yourself and asking yourself how you’re doing and what your body’s asking for. Some people use it to deal with difficult news stories, others just to maintain their happiness day to day. Self-care does not mean the same thing for everyone. Different people will adopt different self-care practices, and even your own definition might change over time. “What is self-care for one person will likely differ from someone else, and what’s self-care for you one day might not feel like self-care another day,” Dr. Amsellem says.

Engaging in self-care regularly could help you put your best foot forward. “When we are regularly taking care of ourselves, we are better able to react to the things that go on in our lives,” Amsellem says. “It’s something we do to maintain positive well-being.”

“When self-care is regularly practiced, the benefits are broad and have even been linked to positive health outcomes such as reduced stress, improved immune system, increased productivity, and higher self-esteem,” says Brighid Courtney, of Boston, a client leader at the wellness technology company Wellable and a faculty member at the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA).

RELATED: 9 Essential Skills That Will Make You More Resilient

Types of Self-Care

“It could be anything that floats your boat — anything that puts a smile on your face,” Dr. Gill Lopez says. “Anything that makes you feel cared for, even if it's you caring for yourself.”

There are a few different categories of self-care:

  • Emotional self-care, such as self-talk, weekly bubble baths, saying “no” to things that cause unnecessary stress, giving yourself permission to take a pause, or setting up a weekly coffee date with a friend
  • Physical self-care, such as prioritizing sleep, adopting an exercise routine you can stick with, choosing healthy and nourishing foods over highly processed ones
  • Spiritual self-care, such as attending a religious service, spending time in nature, meditating, incorporating regular acts of kindness into your day, or keeping a gratitude journal

Additionally, Gill Lopez puts self-care into two further categories: temporary and enduring.

An example of temporary self-care is going to dinner with a friend. You’ll benefit from the social connection, but it won’t last for very long after you part ways.

Enduring self-care, on the other hand, has more permanent effects. Gill Lopez says an example of this is practicing mindfulness regularly, because it leads to brain changes, she says. According to a study (one of many on this topic) published in Psychiatry Research, eight weeks of mindfulness training led to changes in gray matter concentrations in the brain areas involved with learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.

“You reap the benefits of mindfulness whether you're [actively] doing it or not,” Gill Lopez says.

What Counts as Self-Care and What Doesn’t

There’s no way to say exactly what counts as self-care, because everyone’s definition is their own and unique.

The underlining rule is that it's something that brings you more sustained joy in the long run, Courtney says. And though there are plenty of examples of self-care that seem to tread a fine line between a health-enhancing behavior and self-indulgence, self-care doesn’t have to be about padding your calendar with luxurious experiences or activities that cost money (though it certainly can).

RELATED: Is Social Media Busting or Boosting Your Stress?

Consider a manicure or a massage or any other pampering activity. It might seem indulgent, but if the activity helps you de-stress and carve out time for yourself, it counts as self-care, Amsellem says. If weekly manicures or monthly spa days are beyond your means, there are plenty of other self-care practices you can adopt.

“Self-care does not have to cost anything — it’s just doing things you enjoy. And a lot of the things we enjoy or feel fulfilled from cost nothing,” Amsellem says. “Stepping outside and taking a deep breath, for example, might be the greatest act of self-care.

Even if you can’t spend lots of time and money, Gill Lopez says you can still practice self-care several times a week by turning things you do every day into self-care practices.

Maybe you try being more mindful of your thoughts on your commute, or maybe you find ways to make daily tasks, like showering, more enjoyable. Pick a soap with a scent that you love and focus on the physical sensations of the shower. Gill Lopez says: What does your shower smell like? What does it sound like? How does the warm water feel on your skin? “For about 10 minutes in the shower, which I have to do anyway, instead of letting my monkey brain run wild, I’m right there,” she says.

Daily chores like making your bed in the morning are also examples of self-care — or can be. “This is where that individuality comes into play, because for some people there is no way making a bed feels like self-care — it may just feel like a chore,” Amsellem says. But if it helps you claim your day and gives you a sense of accomplishment early on, you’ll have that with you even if the rest of the day gets derailed, Amsellem says.

The simple act of making your bed in the morning likely isn’t sufficient to account for all your self-care, she says. You may need to routinely devote time and energy to other self-care practices, she adds. “But if there are some days when you feel out of control, on those days, starting the day off doing what you wanted to do for yourself might be one of the biggest forms of self-care you engage in that day.”

And sometimes when all of our other self-care plans get thrown out of whack (you worked through your yoga class, your friend canceled your coffee date — we’ve all been there), it’s those small practices of self-care that provide just enough calm to help us get through the day and wake up in a better mood tomorrow.

RELATED: 20 Tips to Help You Build Resilience and Better Cope

The Effects: How Self-Care Benefits Your Health and Well-Being

Many common self-care practices have been linked to longevity and other positive health outcomes, says Ellen K. Baker, PhD, a psychologist based in Washington, DC. There's a lot of research, for example, showing that things like exercise, yoga, and mindfulness are supportive of mental and physical health, she says.

An article published in January 2020 in JAMA noted that longevity in the 21st century depends on abiding by healthy practices — such as exercising, not smoking, and following a healthy diet — and also embracing a positive lifestyle all around.

Paying attention to your well-being involves asking yourself big questions (such as "What brings me satisfaction?"), and then finding ways to get there, according to that report.

The following self-care practices have been well-researched and linked to a longer life:

  • Exercise People who exercised between two and eight hours per week throughout their lives reduced their risk of dying by 29 to 36 percent, according to a March 2019 study published in JAMA Network Open.
  • Finding Purpose According to the researchers behind a May 2019 study published in JAMA Network Open, having a strong life purpose was associated with decreased mortality rates.
  • Diet Eating a diet filled with five servings of fruits and vegetables per day was associated with a lower risk of mortality, especially from heart-related issues, according to a July 2014 study published in The BMJ.
  • Sleep A study published in September 2017 in the Journal of the American Heart Association found too-little sleep (less than seven hours per night) was linked with higher mortality rates, though too-much sleep wasn’t healthy either.
  • Getting Outside According to a 2019 study published in Lancet Planet Health, spending time in green space is associated with a lower mortality rate.

The clinical evidence documenting the long-term health benefits of specifically taking a self-care approach to health (over other approaches) is less robust, but it is building.

For instance, research shows that people with chronic conditions who were more likely to follow medication regimens, to be knowledgeable about how to take care of their health, and to have the skills to take care of their health (characteristics that are considered part of self-care), indeed, were more likely to score higher when it came to measures of mental and physical functioning.

Gill Lopez has led self-care workshops for students, professionals, and community members at national conferences, in school districts, and on campus at Fairfield University. Most workshops are two to three hours, and she leads about 15 to 20 per year. She says after her workshops, participants report psychological, emotional, spiritual, and professional improvements. They say they’re more in tune with their own emotions and can more easily identify when they’re feeling anxious or unbalanced. This self-awareness helps people perform better in their jobs, enables them to be more mindful, and helps them combat burnout, she explains.

How to Start a Self-Care Routine

To get started with a self-care routine, the experts we spoke with suggest:

  1. Determine which activities bring you joy, replenish your energy, and restore your balance.
  2. Start small by choosing one behavior you’d like to incorporate into your routine in the next week.
  3. Build up to practicing that behavior every day for one week.
  4. Reflect on how you feel.
  5. Add in additional practices when ready.
  6. Get support through sharing practices from loved ones, a coach, a licensed professional (like a therapist or dietitian), or through your healthcare plan, community, or workplace.

Practicing self-care doesn’t need to be a heavy lift right out of the gate. Here are a few ideas to ease you into your self-care journey:

  • Journal.
  • Start each day by paying attention to your breath for five minutes and setting intentions for the day.
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Reflect on what you’re grateful for each night.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode for a half hour each night and release yourself from the flurry of notifications.
  • Call a friend just to say hello.
  • Take up a relaxing hobby.
  • Pick a bedtime and stick to it.

Note, if you read this and feel a sense of demoralization or sadness from challenges mounting or establishing a self-care practice, its best to get help and support. There may be barriers to caring for yourself from past trauma, mental health issues, or family situations that may be making it more challenging to get started. Seek support from trusted counselors and behavioral health providers (like therapists), a trusted primary care doctor, or a close friend.

The bottom line: Self-care can have a positive effect on your health and outlook, but it requires a commitment or intention to invest in your well-being. “Self-care is a choice that each individual can make to proactively take care of their well-being,” Courtney says. And it tends to be well worth the time and any money you spend. “We need to remove the stigma that being kind to and taking care of ourselves is self-indulgent or selfish,” Courtney says.

Learn More About How to Start a Self-Care Routine

Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking

  • Self-Care. Google Trends.
  • What Do We Mean by Self-Care? World Health Organization.
  • Godfrey CM, Harrison MB, Lysaght R, et al. The Experience of Self-Care: A Systematic Review. JBI Library of Systematic Reviews. 2010.
  • Mills J, Wand T, Fraser JA. Exploring the Meaning and Practice of Self-Care Among Palliative Care Nurses and Doctors: A Qualitative Study. BMC Palliative Care. April 18, 2018.
  • Holzel BK, Carmody J, Vangel M, et al. Mindfulness Practice Leads to Increases in Regional Brain Gray Matter Density. Psychiatry Research. January 30, 2012.
  • Pizza PA. A Prescription for Longevity in the 21st Century: Renewing Purpose, Building and Sustaining Social Engagement, and Embracing a Positive Lifestyle. JAMA. January 9, 2020.
  • Saint-Maurice PF, Coughlan D, Kelly SP, et al. Association of Leisure-Time Physical Activity Across the Adult Life Course With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Network Open. March 8, 2019.
  • Alimujiang A, Wiensch A, Boss J, et al. Association Between Life Purpose and Mortality Among US Adults Older Than 50 Years. JAMA Network Open. May 24, 2019.
  • Wang X, Ouyang Y, Liu J, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Mortality from All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer: Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. The BMJ. July 29, 2014.
  • Yin J, Jin X, Shan Z, et al. Relationship of Sleep Duration With All-Cause Mortality and Cardiovascular Events: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. Journal of the American Heart Association. September 2017.
  • Rojas-Rueda D, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, Gascon M, et al. Green Spaces and Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies. Lancet Planet Health. November 2019.
  • What Is Self-Care? International Self-Care Foundation.
  • Narasimhan M, Allotey P, Hardon A. Self care interventions to advance health and wellbeing: a conceptual framework to inform normative guidance. The BMJ. April 1, 2019.
  • Mosen DM, Schmittdiel J, Hibbard J, et al. Is Patient Activation Associated With Outcomes of Care for Adults With Chronic Conditions? The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management. January 2007.

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What is self-care?


Know YourselfPractices how to

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Don't confuse self-care with selfishness. The point is not that we think only about our needs, but that, only by taking care of ourselves, we will be able to give attention and energy to loved ones.

What is self-care?

Self-care can be considered any activity through which we consciously invest energy, time, money in our mental, emotional and physical health. In theory, everything is simple, but in practice we often miss a lot. Proper self-care is essential to maintaining a good mood and reducing anxiety. It is also important so that we can properly build relationships with ourselves and others. nine0003

What is not self-care?

Perhaps it is even more important to understand what is not self-care. If we have to force ourselves to do something and we do not get joy from it, this activity can no longer be considered self-care. According to clinical psychologist Agnes Wainman, “Self-care is what recharges us, it shouldn’t take energy away.”

Taking care of yourself is the key to balance in life

Where to start? Here are three golden rules:

• Start simple - sleep, relaxation, pleasant hobbies, going to the doctor. Over time, you will find a rhythm that suits you and understand in what form self-care is most suitable for you personally.

• Self-care is only something we plan on purpose, not something that happens on its own. It is always our conscious choice. If you are planning something, add it to your schedule, tell others about it to solidify your intention. Actively look for opportunities to invest energy in yourself. nine0003

• I often stress the importance of mindfulness when talking to clients. In other words, if you do not see something as taking care of yourself, then you will not get the corresponding effect. Be aware of what you are doing, why you are doing it, how you feel about it and what result you get in the end.

Only by taking care of ourselves will we be able to give attention and energy to loved ones

What you can do for yourself:

• Write down everything you don't like or don't want to do. For example: do not check email late at night and at night, do not go to events and parties that you do not like, do not answer calls during lunch and dinner. nine0003

• Eat a healthy and balanced diet.

• Get enough sleep. An adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep per day.

• Exercise or exercise. Many do not know this, but physical activity benefits our emotional health, not just physical. It increases serotonin levels, which in turn improves mood and energy. Keeping in mind the rules of self-care, choose the type of physical activity that you enjoy. nine0003

• Do not put off the necessary preventive examinations and visits to the doctor.

• Do relaxation exercises and/or meditate. You can do this at any time of the day.

• Spend enough time with loved ones.

• Do something every day to relax, whether it's a short walk or 30 minutes of quiet time.

• Do something nice for yourself every day: go to the movies, cook your favorite meal, arrange a meeting with friends. nine0003

• Look for opportunities to laugh.

Make a 15-day self-care schedule and compare how you feel before and after. And remember, as with everything else in life, taking good care of yourself comes with experience.

About the author: Rafailla Michel, counseling psychologist.

Text: Nikolai Protsenko

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psychology — Here and Now

The author of the article: Gilmanova Aigul

Everyone understands and expresses care in their own way. Perhaps someone sees in caring a desire to shelter themselves or loved ones from adversity and difficulties, but for someone it is just a kind, sweet gesture towards themselves or others. For some, this is taking a bubble bath after a hard day's work, buying something pleasant or tasty, someone is happy to take care of someone by sharing, and for someone, care is the rejection of something harmful to oneself and your health. But you can certainly find common associations to this concept. For example, about the fact that care is associated with action, as well as with the concept of love, the desire for well-being for those who are cared for. What is concern for you? nine0003

External and internal

Externally, even on a physical level, taking care of yourself is sometimes very simple, for example, wrap yourself in a blanket or drink a hot drink when it's cold or close the window when it's windy, undress when it's hot, eat ice cream, put on cream to stay out of the sun, avoid unhealthy foods, allow yourself to rest when needed, or even just walk away from a bad movie to a movie. We can say that the outer side of self-care is the satisfaction of our physical needs. But there is also an equally important, inner side - psychological . Satisfying our psychological needs is very often not so easy for us, primarily because we do not always know about them, we cannot understand, or we consciously or unconsciously ignore them.

Contact with yourself

The key to taking care of yourself is in contact with yourself, with your thoughts, feelings and needs. It is precisely because of the lack of this contact, ignorance and misunderstanding of ourselves, of what happens to us at any level (emotional, psychological and sometimes even physical), that it is sometimes so difficult to satisfy our deepest needs and take care of ourselves, protecting ourselves from depreciation. , humiliation, non-constructive criticism, declaring their personal boundaries and defending them. Stop ignoring and suppressing your own inner impulses, desires, opportunities and meet the real you, with each of your sides, the most frightening and most beautiful, and make yourself known is not easy, but this is precisely what is genuine self-care in the full sense of the word. This is the realization that everything that is in you is important and necessary. nine0003

Own permission to take care of ourselves care. The reasons for this are individual and often related to the parenting model in childhood. All this can be learned and worked through in therapy.

There is also the belief that taking care of yourself is selfish, and this thought can also inhibit self-expression and prevent you from talking about your feelings and needs or thinking about yourself in general. This judgment occurs due to a misinterpretation of this concept, its perception in a purely narrow or distorted sense. Accepting this statement, people begin to feel guilty, deciding to put their feelings first. But, in fact, it works just the opposite. Without knowing how to take care of ourselves in the first place, without understanding ourselves, we will not be able to fully help another. Without knowing yourself, it is impossible to understand another. No one knows and will not be able to recognize us like we ourselves and, accordingly, will not be able to take care, based on our needs, exactly as we would do it for ourselves. Allowing yourself to be taken care of is a conscious choice and personal responsibility. nine0003

One of my friends often complained about dissatisfaction with life, countless family problems, disagreements and misunderstandings in her relationship with her daughter. She was a fairly wealthy woman and was convinced that she took good care of herself, regularly spending huge amounts of money to maintain her external gloss and beauty. When we talked about the possibility of resolving her personal problems and changing the quality of life in therapy, she said with a smile that she spends enough time maintaining her image in the eyes of others. nine0003

Taking care of yourself is often not about pleasant things and goodies. In most cases, it's about finding the courage to face your fears, doubts, anxieties and worries and realize their causes, as well as why it is so difficult to allow ourselves what is given to us by birth right - to be ourselves and with ourselves, to be on your side, choosing yourself, your comfort and safety, without infringing on the rights of others.

Learn more