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When was the last time you stopped to consider your needs, without also taking into what someone else wanted for you? People need love, intimacy , and companionship, so you are focusing on yourself by pursuing those needs. All the same, neglecting your own dreams and desires can still hold you back. A life lived solely in the pursuit of the happiness of others may not bring you much personal joy.
Over time, you might begin feeling drained even a little lost. These 7 tips can help. Feeling uncertain about your identity can make it tough to get clarity on what you want from life. This illumination may call into question things you thought you knew about yourself as new aspects of your identity emerge for the first time. You may not immediately welcome this new self-knowledge, especially if it contradicts your existing perception of who you are. But failing to acknowledge your growth can leave you feeling incomplete and unfulfilled. This uncertainty can begin to affect your emotional well-being, sense of self-worth, and your relationships with others.
Approaching these changes in yourself with curiosity can help you acclimate more easily. Most people care about the opinions of their loved ones. Societal ideals around dating and relationships often suggest single people are lonely and incomplete. In its most literal sense, focusing on yourself revolves around self-care practices that meet your needs. Self-care allows you to turn your attention toward yourself in a fundamental way.
Everyone has basic needs that play an important part in overall well-being, including sleep , nutrition , physical exercise , and relaxation. You might not notice much of an impact at first, but eventually, you might see some unwanted changes in your physical and emotional health. Choose one thing to work on, and gradually work your way toward other practices that make you feel good.
Find more strategies for creating a personalized self-care routine. Make no mistake, caring for others is a positive trait. Focusing on your loved ones and offering emotional support when they struggle shows your compassion and strengthens your relationships. Prosocial behavior, like practicing kindness toward others, can even help improve well-being by boosting feelings of happiness. You might, like many others, hold yourself to stricter standards and fall into patterns of negative self-talk. That last one is key to maintaining the right balance between focusing on yourself and focusing on others.
Devoting all of your energy to other people leaves you with little for yourself. People in relationships tend to spend plenty of time with their partners. This might work perfectly well for a while, but lacking time for the things you enjoy can result in your losing touch with those interests over time.
This can leave you feeling frustrated, discouraged, and resentful. When life gets busy, hobbies might be the first things you drop from your routine as you navigate more immediate challenges. But this can backfire. Setting aside time for hobbies and relaxation on most days can go a long way toward helping you avoid burnout. After leaving a relationship, you might need to relearn how to exist in your own company. This may feel lonely and difficult at first, but try reframing this solitude as an opportunity to explore new hobbies or rediscover old ones, from stargazing to scrapbooking to tabletop gaming.
Most people compare themselves to others on occasion. Perhaps you feel a little envious of a particular friend who always seems happy. Comparing yourself to someone else can motivate you to aim for similar goals, like a nice house, your dream car, or a loving partner. Comparisons can become problematic when they distract you from what really matters to you. Instead of comparing yourself to others, look at the things you already have.
Who or what brings you joy? What do you feel grateful for? What would you like more of? Less of? Taking some time to reconsider the specific qualities you value most can help you refocus your attention on who you are and who you want to become. If you value community, for example, you might look for ways to share time or resources with your community. Once you identify your values, you can begin to explore ways to incorporate them into your life in meaningful ways.
Some values, such as bravery, optimism, or adventurousness, might come naturally to you. Others, including honesty, ability, or leadership, may require a little more work. This work is worth it, though — research from suggests living according to your values could help improve satisfaction with life as well as mental health. If you struggle to give yourself the attention you deserve, a therapist can offer guidance with turning your focus inward and help you explore more strategies for self-care. Crystal Raypole has ly worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy.
Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. Self-care is more than what some have commercialized it to be. But why are we still feeling like self-care is selfish? It goes deeper than just feeling good. It's how we impact everyone around us. Raising black children has always meant an added layer of chronic stress, fear, and trauma. It's critical that black parents take time for self-care. Mental health gyms are on the rise.
This what they do well and what they're missing. Although rare, some people who've taken hallucinogens develop hallucinogen persisting perception disorder HPPD , a sensory disorder. Learn more. Online support groups can help those in recovery cope and find community as they heal. Here are the best eating disorder support groups. Divorce is one of the biggest shifts a person may face, and ranks as the second most stressful life change.
Read on to see if an online divorce…. Can it also offer health benefits? How to Focus on Yourself — and Only Yourself. Medically reviewed by Jacquelyn Johnson, PsyD. Get better acquainted with yourself. Create a self-care plan. Practice self-compassion. Spend time doing things you love. Avoid the comparison trap. Examine your values. The bottom line. Read this next. Man 2. Medically reviewed by Alex Klein, PsyD. Medically reviewed by Karin Gepp, PsyD.
Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.Only looking for one good
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1. A profile of single Americans