There are so many roles we play at work, home, relationships, social life, so much that at times taking care of self becomes the least of the priority. It is so easy to ignore ourselves for the sake of others. And this is not just confined to physical and sociological aspects. Like skipping breakfast because you were busy feeding your child is like one common thing we most mothers do.

Particularly during this pandemic and lockdown, all our roles and responsibilities have been doubled to what it was earlier. Yes, we are not communicating to work, but there are so many additional responsibilities. Just look at the sheer number of times we wash our hands or sanitize a surface. There is a huge impact on our self-care regime. Before the pandemic, we had the luxury to visit a spa, parlour or any self-care regime we were following quite easily, but now it seems like forever before we could even think of such things.

However, self-care is not just about parlours or spa’s, that’s for our external self. It does help us relax but the effects are temporary. Imagine having a wonderful spa treatment and then driving back home in maddening traffic, all the relaxation you felt suddenly vanishes.

Unless you feel great from the inside, all other self-care techniques from the outside will have restricted or no outcome at all. That’s why self-care is about caring for yourself as a person, about what you feel, how you feel and what actions you take about your feelings. Like most of us, it is normal for us to feel frustrated when things go out of hand, it is normal for us to feel betrayed if someone cheats us. No doubt it is normal to feel that way, but how long you are going to allow this feeling to stay with you and influence your mental health is a choice you can make. This is not something you can achieve in a day or two, it is something you need to learn and practice.

Prioritizing self is not being selfish, it is having clarity that only if you have great mental health you can take care of others around you. It’s as simple as using your oxygen mask in an aircraft during an emergency landing, before helping someone else. This is being instructed before every flight, every time. If you to help others you need to manage yourself better.

So here are some quick tips on you can prioritise yourself:

  1. Spend your spare time well.
  2. Learn a new hobby.
  3. Stay away from people or relationships that are toxic.
  4. Be clear while sharing your expectations
  5. Speak your mind, if you do not like something say so.
  6. Learn to say “NO”, if you are not in a condition to help someone say so.
  7. Priorities yourself, don’t do anything to please people.
  8. Personal or professional relationships, if you feel you need space, just say so.
  9. Remember, you have all the rights to change your mind.
  10. Do not settle for less.

Some of these tips are very simple to do, like learning a hobby or spending your spare time well. You can start from there.

You may find it very tough to say “No” to people you care about. But let us just take one step at a time, start working on these tips in the same order mentioned above. Learn and practice self-care as self-prioritising rather than self-indulgence.

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