Have you ever been in a space where you’ve felt that no one cares about you? We all find ourselves there now and then, and it comes from forgetting that no one else is responsible for our happiness: how we feel lies totally in our own hands.
As children, if we’re lucky, our parents are there to meet many of our needs. An important part of growing up, however, is learning to look after our own needs on many levels, including nurturing ourselves. The interesting thing is that as soon as we start taking more care of ourselves, we inspire others to take more care of us too. The way we treat ourselves is the example we set for how we expect others to treat us.
So let’s look at some ways we can take care of ourselves:
Look after your physical needs
- Everyone is different so get to know your basic physical needs: how much sleep you need; what kind of food and how often you need to eat; how much and what kind of exercise you need.
- Get someone else to physically nurture you occasionally e.g. get a massage, facial or pedicure.
Look after your emotional needs
- When you’re not feeling happy, figure out why [link to ‘Getting Back to Happy] and what needs to change.
- Ask for support when you feel overwhelmed – people usually can’t magically sense when you need help.
Look after your mental needs
- Think positive thoughts. Remind yourself of what you like about yourself and your life, and what you do well.
- Speak to yourself kindly, even if it’s just in your head e.g. ‘Well done on getting that right’ or ‘OK, that didn’t go so well – I’ll do better next time’.
Look after your spiritual needs
- Make sure you schedule in some ‘me-time’ to restore yourself. Do something you really enjoy e.g. go for a walk in nature, watch a movie or spend time on a hobby.
- Find something you can believe in and which helps you to feel connected to something bigger than yourself.
Experiment to find out what makes you feel nurtured – then do it. You know you’ll feel better!