For years, it was believed that those who took the time to care for themselves and put their needs above others were viewed as selfish and narcissistic. Society was made to believe that selflessness and altruism are noble and anything other than those is deemed self-centeredness.
It’s no wonder that millions of folks wandered in life with tons of emotional excess baggage and hangups. The martyr mindset has left them exhausted and spent with no ounce of love left for themselves.
It was only in recent decades that specialists discovered the importance of self-care. They concluded that one cannot give what he or she doesn’t have.
It’s pretty much like flying on an airplane. When the plane is in trouble, folks are advised to tend to themselves first by putting on their oxygen masks first before assisting someone else. This totally makes sense because you’re not much help to anyone if you can’t breathe well.
The same could be said about dealing with life and its challenges. We need to learn how to take care of ourselves, so we can serve others better. Given this perspective, self-care becomes a necessity and not a measure of narcissism.
Dealing with Depression
One of the best reasons why self-care is important is it is an effective combatant against stress, anxiety, and depression. We all deal with a certain level of stress daily. We probably get it from our families, jobs, and personal challenges. And we all have different ways of dealing with it, some more effective than others.
Perhaps you know of someone who has been battling with an eating disorder for most of his or her adult life and is now going through a binge eating disorder or anorexic treatment plan with the help and support of loved ones. This puts them in a better position to overcome their challenge and succeed compared to those who drown their problems with alcohol.
There is indeed no one-size-fits-all treatment against depression but some ways are more effective than others.
While depression may seem like such a very dark place to be in, a lot of people who went through it found light at the end of the tunnel and have come out of it victoriously. But it wasn’t an easy task, that’s what most of them will say. It will require not just facing your internal demons but also battling the external things that add to the pressure. This is why some people snap and don’t make it. It takes a sheer amount of willpower, overwhelming support, and unconditional love to make it through.
This does not in any way imply that those who are weak-willed have fewer chances of overcoming depression. Again, several factors are involved and some can compensate where others are lacking. This is why self-care is important. It can increase a person’s odds of success. It doesn’t necessarily make you selfish. It just makes you human.
And once a person comes to terms with his or her reality and takes ownership of his or her life, that’s when the winning starts. Some days are better than others. It will not always be sunny. On some days, some rain will fall. There are days when you feel like you can take on the whole world. And then there will be days that you won’t feel like putting up a fight at all. It’s an emotional roller coaster ride that could scare the living lights out of you but if you hang tight and ride it out, you’ll eventually reach the end of the line and come out of it stronger, braver, and wiser.
And as you are starting to recover from it, pick up the pieces, and map out your life moving forward, you’ll find a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life. It is then that you begin to realize why you went through all of that and survived. Perhaps it’s a higher calling or a greater purpose. But even as you walk the path laid out before you, as you help others who are going through the things you experienced, you must continue to take care of yourself
And just because you do doesn’t mean you’re no longer a success. It just means you’re as much a work in progress as everyone else. You’re just ahead of the game.
- Take your medication as prescribed and regularly check in with your specialist, especially if you have other physical conditions that require maintenance medicine.
- Don’t stop going to your counseling sessions, especially on those days you don’t feel like it.
- Eat healthily and exercise regularly. Avoid alcohol, drugs, or any substance that could interfere with your medication and treatment.
- Set aside time for meditation, reflection, and prayer daily.
- Get enough rest and quality sleep.
- Do fun things that will keep you physically active, mentally sharp, and emotionally fulfilled.
- Surround yourself with family and friends that will support and encourage you on your recovery.
Help others and become one of their anchors. But don’t forget to get help for yourself when you need it. It doesn’t take away from your progress and make you any less of a success. If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, get help immediately by calling the suicide hotline in your location.
Depression is a serious thing that must not be taken lightly. This is why recovering from it is such a huge deal and is enough reason to celebrate and be grateful.