Take Time to Focus on YOU

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It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary. – Mandy Hale

Many of us grow up being taught to be selfless. To give of yourself to others and to put their needs ahead of your own. I agree with this for the most part and know from experience that helping others can bring you real happiness, distract you from your own problems, and help put your problems them into perspective when you see that, really, everyone has struggles of some kind or another and we need to help each other through them.

However, (yes, here comes the “but”) when you are dealing with a mental illness you need to IGNORE some of this. Telling yourself and hearing that you need to just start thinking about others and realize that “there’s always someone who has it worse”? Isn’t going to help. If you’re depressed or anxious you’re probably overwhelmed enough as it is. You don’t need added pressure. It’s okay to focus on yourself. You’re not going to be any help to anyone else if you can’t take care of yourself first. So don’t try and don’t feel bad about it. Realize that you’re taking time to learn to be easier on yourself, to take care of yourself and to make YOU happy so that, later, you can focus on and help your family, friends, ect, better than you’re able to right now.

You need to be able to love and care for yourself in order to love and take care of anyone else properly. This doesn’t mean cutting off all human ties and relationships, but it means letting THEM help YOU for a change. Allow yourself to take the time to do things that you enjoy and find relaxing. To do the things you know you need to in order to get through this. In the long run it will benefit both you and those who you are close to.

I’m discovering that happiness is contagious. I had to stop worrying so much about what everyone else was thinking of me. I had to stop stressing about how I thought I was making them unhappy. Then, when I accepted that was just how things were right now and learned that they didn’t love me any less for it? When I stopped trying to hide how I was feeling in an attempt keep people from leaving me? I realized that THEY were happier because I was happier. Overall it means less stress for everyone and allows me to relax and be okay with taking as much time as I need to care for me! (:

Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.

Well now they know.

Let it go!

– Frozen

photo credit: DonnaGrayson via photopin cc

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12 comments

  1. This is an excellent post. Honest and true.

    It seems like such a simple concept – taking care of ourselves – yet it can be (or *feel*, more aptly) impossible at times. Typically, when we most need to do exactly that.

    Love the Elsa quote. :D

  2. Yes, I totally agree! I have found that sometimes those depressed are in denial of this and will sometimes give it a new name called “Stress”. So when they are in denial, it is often harder or takes longer to accept that there is a problem in the first place. I know, because I have been there. Keep sharing your story. Hopefully someone who reads it that is in denial will come to terms of their condition and change the way they think and get help.

    1. Its so hard isn’t it? My parents are awesome and tell me all the time not to worry about “it” but when you’re 20 years old, don’t have a job, and your parents are still paying to support you and take you to countless doctors appointments its pretty difficult not to feel bad. Plus you know that they are stressed and worried about you and THAT makes you feel guilty too! My mom tells me to just focus on doing what I can and feeling better, and really thats all you can do. You can return the favor later when you’re finally doing good and they need YOU to come take care of THEM in their old age (; haha thanks for commenting (:

      1. that’s what my husband says…of you cry and feel horrible about not helping with the dishes, then i have to help you calm down AND do the dishes. that really helped change my behavior , making things easiest. i’m a lot older than you, so my dad is in his 70s but rather than needing to take of him i need him to take care of me, emotionally.

        your mom sounds like a good one! :)

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