How to take care of yourself, and be there for others
In psychology, taking care of yourself becomes a fundamental principle for achieving personal and social well-being, because it means accepting yourself. Working on your self-esteem and self-care, with daily gestures that take personal needs into account, is an important first step. The role of the therapist, in this case, becomes that of accompanying the person who does not take care of themselves on a path of change and supporting them in achieving this important goal.
“Self-care” comes from the ancient Greek expression epimèleia heautou, an articulated and complex concept dating back to the philosophy of Socrates. This concept, of great importance now as then, referred to the ability to look at what is happening inside us and outside of us, with the aim of questioning and knowing ourselves through a continuous internal dialogue with ourselves.
Taking care of yourself: what does it mean?
Taking care of yourself means listening to yourself to understand your needs, loving yourself and thinking about your physical and mental well-being. It is necessary to cultivate the introspective ability to look within and recognize the value. This takes time, patience and also includes the need to accept and love each other with one’s limitations and defects.
Think of Maslow’s Pyramid: the central idea of this theory is that in each of us there is a hierarchy of needs, on which learning and conditioning are built through motivation.
Taking care of yourself can seem like a difficult thing, especially for those who are used to putting aside their own needs to fulfill other’s. Instead, taking time to take care of yourself is essential because it triggers a virtuous mechanism: taking care of yourself to take care of others.
How to take care of yourself: some concrete tips
Sometimes a few things are enough to feel good about yourself. Here are some tips to start taking care of yourself. To learn how to take care of yourself in everyday life you can:
- plan a routine
- follow a balanced diet
- do physical activity, as they say mens sana in corpore sano
- buy something new that you’ve wanted for a long time
- read a good book
- spending time in nature
- take a walk
- meet friends.
The key to self care is consistency. However, don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t stick to your planned routine. Every day is a brand new opportunity to show up for yourself.
Be there for others
It is fundamental to choose to devote yourself to relationships that enrich and make you feel good, that give us back what we give in terms of time and affection. Taking care of yourself and of others becomes a single action to live with greater serenity and satisfaction.
Every human being exists, but also coexists with others: this underlines how much we need the other and how much the other needs us. How can we take care of others? The most precious things we can give are our time and our presence, therefore a smile, a gesture, a word. It is therefore important to ask how we can help, listen without judging and be close to the other person. All of this can be trivially summed up in two word: being there.
How Therapy can help!
Each of us, at least once, have felt lost, stuck and not aware of what we wants or feels necessary. In these cases, it often happens that the person feels they have a problem and that they are not feeling well, but they don’t know where to start to get better and improve their lives.
Through therapy you can build tools to achieve your own personal growth by working on low self-esteem and increasing self-empowerment. As a therapist I can help you identify your needs and priorities, noticing them and help them flourish.
Let’s show up for ourselves one more time!