Do you take good care of yourself? Of course you do, or at least you think you do. However, you may not realize that the level of care you give yourself is far sub-optimal, in many cases even being regarded as neglect. Yes, circumstances may force you to spend less time on yourself than you would like, and there are usually dozens of reasons why. However, before you can make a conscious effort to improve the level of care you give to yourself, you need to realize the areas you are deficient in.
Self-care may be eluding you if you find yourself doing any of the following things:
If you find yourself putting the needs of every single person ahead of your own, you are exhibiting a classic sign of self-neglect. By prioritizing the needs of everybody except your own, you find yourself being burnt out or resenting doing things altogether.
Though nobody likes a selfish hog, let’s be realistic – you have to put yourself first sometimes. You may end up unable to do anything for anyone if you continue at this rate, not to mention resenting all the people you give up things for. A totally unhealthy cocktail.
If you feel guilty for fancying up yourself, again, self-care may be eluding you. You have the right to spend time on yourself, if that means indulging in a bubble bath for an hour, or moisturizing and doing weekly pedicures, it is a necessary part of your overall care.
Another typical symptom of this is the chronic habit of dressing in “wash and wears,” which makes your appearance as cheaply dressed and not classy. Take some time every weekend to arrange your outfits for the coming week. This involves picking out accessories, shoes, and steam ironing your clothes if needed. You are special – dress for the part.
Not having a small circle of closely knit friends is another obvious symptom of poor self-care. Good friends are there not only through the good times but also the bad and can be an invaluable part of your well-being. Whether this is your choice (or excuse) or something forced upon you by family, it is not healthy and ultimately affects your wellbeing.
You may be grown, have a home and money in the bank, but still have the sinking feeling that you have achieved nothing or not enough in life. This could be the result of personal un-fulfillment because perhaps you never got the chance to complete your college education, to pursue a passion or you maybe you simply do not find your career to be rewarding. Well, guess what – there is no better time than now to get up and go after whatever it is that would fulfill you. What needs to be kept in mind is the fact that no other person can achieve this for you, so go get it.
This is one of the more serious symptoms of poor self-care, as it directly affects your well-being on an emotional and physical level. Lack of exercise boosts the likelihood of negative health effects developing, reduces the quality of life, and harms your appearance. Exercise performed just 3 times weekly can help you maintain healthy body weight and body composition, and is one of the best things you can give yourself.
The final symptom, that sums up the disdain you have for yourself is your lack of joy. Living brings you no real pleasure; you’re just going through the motions of life, without truly finding joy in the day-to-day moments. You don’t stop to take in the views on your way to work, you don’t experience joy from little things your kids or grandkids may do, and only look forward to going to bed. Feeling as if life has no real purpose for you can be not only sad, but kick starts a cycle of negativity and can spiral into depression.
Though self-care should be second nature, many of us have de-trained these instinctual behaviors and replaced them with “politically correct” habits and a robotic pursuit of daily living. You need to be selfish sometimes and to think about yourself, so you can meet your needs and desires, it can only serve to make you happier and more content.