By Kamna Chhibber
Life abounds with stress. Challenges stare us in the face and complex dynamics are at play in most facets of our life, particularly in our relationships. One of the most crucial, yet overlooked aspects is the need for self-care. Nothing other than taking care of yourself and your well-being can be more important at this point. Let’s take a look at some things that can help you be calm, collected, reassured and ready to face the challenge of every day.
- Carve out time and space for things that make you happy and do them for yourself – Many of us remain trapped in the circle of doing for others, pleasing others and living in accordance with what others want. Somewhere along the way we lose sight of what makes us happy. The things that give us a feeling of calm and contentment is what we need to drift towards. This doesn’t need to be in opposition to what you may be doing for others. However, carving out time and space for yourself is important.
- Identify your triggers and work towards developing an effective mechanism to manage them – Some things can be more bothersome for us than others. It helps to know and identify the things which trigger us so that we can develop a way of avoiding, distracting or managing the same. It is when you feel overwhelmed and things don’t seem to relent that they can overpower you and impact the way you think about yourself and your life. Working consciously to develop coping and problem solving methods would stand you in good stead.
- Disconnect from things around you that bother you – You may feel obligated to stay connected to everything that you believe is important based on your value, belief and moral system. However, it can help to disconnect and dissociate yourself from those things (and even people) that are a source of distress, which increase negative thinking about situations, people or life, or that leave you feeling confused and unsure.
- Connect to your loved ones and build a support system – Nothing is more important than having a solid support system around you. This can include your friends, family, colleagues and coworkers. Having a supportive network of people around you can help you feel comforted, certain that someone would be there in case you’re feeling troubled, and sure that they would pull you out of a negative spiral if it is required.
- Talk about what you think and feel – In the rigours of our daily lives we often forget to accord relevance to our thoughts and feelings. Discussing these on a regular basis with those you are comfortable with and who you can trust is an important step in creating a stable footing for you. Don’t hesitate to be open and honest to those around you. Instead utilise the support they are and can provide.
- Never hesitate to take help from a professional – If you find yourself dipping in your moods, feeling uncertain about where you are at or where you are heading, if life seems purposeless or you feel that you are increasingly unsure of yourself and your relationships, reach out for help. The stigma is in our minds. And finding the answers and support in an expert can be the right step if you are struggling. Reach out for help by calling on a helpline or connecting with a psychiatrist or psychologist for in person interactions.
Taking care of yourself will go a long way in you also being able to help those around you. Self-care has no substitute.
Views expressed are personal. The Health Collective cannot substitute for expert advice from a trained mental health expert. Reach out for help: do check for resources available across India.
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