In this day and age, caring about others is one of the most looked up to thing to do. When we think about others and show others that we are always there for them, we are seen as selfless and essentially confident in our own emotions that we can take care of someone’s else’s emotions. But what happens when we are not confident in our own emotions, but still feel the need to help others in their quest to feel okay with themselves?
The fact of the matter is, sometimes we have to be selfish in our own needs so that we may help others along the way. It is okay to take time for ourselves when we are not at our best and make sure that we are 100% okay emotionally before we take on others’ burdens. Some may think that this is a selfish act, but when you really think about it, our mental health and state of mind is the number one priority that we should be concerned about.
When you take on other people’s emotions and burdens while also not being 100% real with your own emotions it starts to take a toll on you. This can lead to anxiety, the feeling of not being good enough for yourself and others, and ultimately sadness and depression.
It is okay to tell others when you are not feeling 100% at your best. If you are a person who feels like they take on others emotions more than their own, here are a few steps to work on your own mental health while also being there for friends and peers.
1.) Write in a journal every day: this might seem like a daunting task at first, but even just keeping a notepad on your phone where you can write down all of your thoughts and emotions of the day can help you vent out any anxieties you have and make you feel a little bit better at the end of the day. If you keep a notepad on your phone, try and write in it every time you are feeling anxious or not feeling your best. Write down how you feel, why you feel it and steps to help you get out of the funk.
2.) Exercise: I know this one sounds like a typical Cosmopolitan-esque answer to a seemingly hard question, but trust me when I say that even a 10 minute walk outside can help even the worst of moods. When you get outside and start to get your blood moving, your body’s natural endorphins start to work and make you feel less anxious or sad. Do any type of exercise that your body is okay with, whether it be walking, dancing, boxing or running. Anything that will get the heart pumping and the blood flowing will ease any tension you may have within yourself. It also gives you time to talk within yourself and work on the emotions that are filling you up.
3.) Talk to someone: Talking to others, especially if they are people we do not know, seems very daunting. It takes a part of us that needs to trust people, and sometimes that is hard. It is hard enough to talk about emotions in general, but to some, talking to others about is hard and scary. Trust me when I say that talking freely about what you are going through does make a difference, even if it’s for a split second. Letting out any frustrations or anxieties you may have to someone feels freeing, and it can also give you perspective on how to deal with your emotions the next time they may flare up.
We all want to be there for people who need us in their time of need, whether it be when they are dealing with a breakup, going through bad anxiety or depression or they just had a bad day. And it is so courageous of us to be there for those when we ourselves are not feeling our 100% best. But trust me when I say that your mental health is just as important as anyone else’s. Sometimes taking the time for yourself and your state of mind before others can be more rewarding in the end for you and others around you.