Do it for yourself

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!

Anxiety – Procrastination – Fear (_of failure_)

Felling anxious yet?

Good morning, another day in paradise!

Anxiety, what a terrible, terrible beast! Gosh I’m so happy I am not “anxiety” because I would have a lot of enemies. But what’s really anxiety all about? At the end of the day, it is the expression of some fears that are quite embedded in our own life experience. If we are anxious about doing something, if we’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, we shouldn’t try to get rid of anxiety or pathologizing it. Anxiety is there to tell us to be careful, because maybe in our life experience we have learned that if we fear a particular situation we won’t get in any trouble, whatever the trouble might be. Listening to our anxiety instead, it is helpful to understand where that anxiety is coming from. Having a mindful approach to anxiety is therefore one of the best ways to regulate it, instead of thinking of getting rid of it. It is not always easy to do by ourselves, that is why we often need professional help, or even simpler, we just need a good friend.

Also, if you are an anxious person, you might have found yourself that your anxiety can be a real pain when it comes to begin and finish something. You know it already! I’m talking about procrastination. This is another beast. When we talk about procrastinating projects and slowing ourselves down from reaching our goals, a lot of the time we hear things like: “You need more will power, you need to be more disciplined, read more stoic quotes ,LOL.” In reality, as science proved, there is no such a thing as will power. In fact, a lot of our actions are guided by the oldest part of our brain, which is located in the back of our head. That part of our brain contains our narratives so to speak, our visions of self. And it is also the part of our brain that regulates our emotions, including our survival mechanisms. When we procrastinate and we think that the willing power will save us, we’re asking the prefrontal cortex, also known as the youngest part of the brain, to summon some magic power. As science has proven, this young part of our brain doesn’t have the capacity to overcome our embedded and old narratives, unless dutifully trained.

Among other things, when we procrastinate, we are letting our anxiety in the way of succeeding. In other words, imposter syndrome! Yes, I know you know A+! And what are we gonna do about it? Well, oftentimes when we do not finish things, there are some reasons behind it, and it’s not necessarily laziness (I know some of you out there can be hard on themselves!). What if we do succeed at something, and even though a part of us is incredibly happy about succeeding, there may be another part of us that cannot tolerate success; that identifies success with something scary, even dangerous. Here we have two parts conflicting with each other. In this situation, anxiety serves us as a way to avoid having to deal with this pesky internal conflict. Wow, and we just thought we were lazy, huh?

Curious to learn more about anxiety yet?

Stay at-tuned.