Self-care is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. It can be difficult to learn how to tend to our own needs, but it is definitely worth it! In this guide, we will discuss some basic concepts of self-care and offer some tips on how to get started. Understanding your own needs is a crucial part of taking care of yourself, so make sure you spend some time thinking about what makes you feel good. Once you have a better understanding of your needs, you can start incorporating micro self-care into your daily routine.
Are you a woman who wants to live with more intentionality and responsibility for yourself? If you are, you’re not alone. In fact, more and more women are beginning to feel this way. We’re realizing that we can’t count on anyone else to take care of us the way we need to be taken care of–we have to do it for ourselves. And while this realization can be empowering, it can also be daunting. Perhaps you are someone who has always cared for yourself, or maybe this is the first time you are really starting out on your own. We don’t always learn to take care of our needs as much as we have learned how to survive. These are very different mindsets.
I recently had a conversation about self-compassion and self-love in therapy with a woman named Mara, who approaches therapy in a unique way. There are some bits of information and nuggets for you to take from this conversation.
Whereas, when it comes to understanding your own needs, we may take a symptom approach, Mara instead takes that self-love and self-compassion approach. It’s time to break this down and get into the details.
Have you found yourself not fitting into the mold?
If you have, it can be difficult to understand your own needs. You are not alone in this. Understanding your own needs is a process that takes time, and there are various ways to go about it. Perhaps you believe you should look a certain way, have certain milestones complete, or fit into a certain identity. Like you, we all have parts of our identity and existence that don’t fit into the stereotype of what it means to be a professional, woman, individual, mom, parent, and so on. A part of the self-compassion and self-love approach is beginning to understand your own needs by considering what makes you feel good and most importantly what doesn’t.
One way to understand your needs is by looking at your relationship with your body. Do you love and appreciate your body just the way it is? Or do you have a more complicated relationship with it? If you have a difficult time accepting your body, this can be a sign that you need to focus on self-love and self-compassion. Our body is a vessel for ourselves, not a portrait for others to judge.
Another way to understand your needs is by looking at your fears. What are you afraid of? Why are you afraid of it? Understanding your fears can be a helpful way to start understanding your needs. Fears can often hold us back from living our best lives. If you find that you’re letting your fears dictate your life, it might be time to start facing them head-on.
Another way to understand your needs is by looking at your discomfort. What makes you uncomfortable? Why are you uncomfortable with it? Understanding your discomfort can help you understand what you need in order to feel more comfortable. Discomfort often comes from not having our needs
Not Trusting Yourself
It can be difficult to understand your own needs. Why is this? Because if we don’t trust ourselves, we’re not likely to listen to our needs. We might not even be aware of what our needs are. If you find that you don’t trust yourself, it’s important to start learning how.
If you don’t trust yourself, it can be difficult to understand your own needs. Why is it that you don’t trust yourself? What would it take for you to start trusting yourself? Understanding your lack of self-trust can help you understand what you need in order to start trusting yourself. Trusting ourselves is an important part of understanding our needs.
Do you live in the world for yourself or others first?
When we sacrifice ourselves in order to “belong” to the world around us, then loneliness is the result. If you find that you are constantly sacrificing yourself for others, it might be time to start putting yourself first. You may be wondering “how you can have all the “right” things happening in your life, and be MISERABLE!”. The truth is we need to begin with ourselves before we ever get to a point where others can accept us. Even if they don’t you must love who you are!
Why aren’t there MORE spaces in which people are lovingly spoken to?
The world can be a harsh place. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative and forget about the positive. When you find yourself in a negative space, it might be time to start seeking out more positive spaces. Maybe there aren’t as many spaces for positivity because we often don’t take the time to create them. Creating positive spaces can be a form of self-care.
One of the best ways to understand your needs is through self-reflection. What are your thoughts and feelings? What do you need in order to feel better? Understanding your thoughts and feelings can help you understand your needs. Self-reflection is an important way to begin this healing journey.
So What is Next?
The next step is up to you. If you find yourself lacking self-love and compassion, it may begin with having a conversation with a trauma therapist or beginning to go through Mara’s several programs or courses she offers year-round. Or may it can begin by listening to a podcast, Check out the trauma chat podcast, therapy chat podcast, or check out Mara’s podcast, “Needy,” which is for anyone who struggles to acknowledge their own needs. Check it out here! When you’re ready, find a trauma therapist near me.