Giving importance to ourselves


Aashkaa Nair

Mental Health Writer

Do we give enough importance to ourselves? I don't mean our career or goals or dreams. I mean emotions, worries and fears. How often do we feel broken or incomplete? I bet there are times when we feel judged and things seem to go out of whack. As a psychology enthusiast, I would like to say that it is okay to feel like this.

It is completely normal to let out our emotions sometimes. In fact letting out anger, frustration and sadness constructively can help tremendously in living a healthy mental life.

Coming back to the question, do we give importance to ourselves? Let us honestly ask ourselves. When was the last time we cried? When was the last time we had a good time? When was the last the time we did not criticize ourselves over something?

Well, in this world or to be precise in our society we are taught to live for others, which is a good thing but then is that the only thing? We often forget to acknowledge our own emotions or maybe we are taught to not acknowledge our emotions. To completely feel a happy emotion it is important that we learn to accept and feel the sad emotion. If we can’t accept our anger, our worries or frustrations completely then how will we enjoy happiness?

Now the question arises: how do we give importance to ourselves when we live in such a society? I would like to say one thing here, when we understand and accept ourselves completely then we don't need to think of others. Social scrutiny can be a headache for all of us. But is it always scrutiny by others or are we scrutinizing ourselves?

There are times when people say certain things about us and we start believing what they say. Instead of introspecting, we start confirming to their beliefs. We start changing the way we think about ourselves. Well, always doing what others say is not right. We know ourselves the best. If we give dedicatedly love ourselves not only are we encouraging positive thoughts and feelings but we also foster a healthy sense of self-esteem.

Here are some ways to help find 'me' time:

1. Set a time aside for self

This could range from a few minutes to a few hours. In this time frame, we can do what we love. Doing what we love is a part of giving attention and love to ourselves. In this time frame, we need to disconnect from others and reconnect with our own self. The focus should be on ‘I’. We can ask ourselves about how we felt throughout the day. Journalling what we feel is a great way to keep a track of emotions. Simply sitting down alone or meditating quietly for a few minutes could also help clear the mind.

2. Learn to say NO

So many of us experience difficulties when it comes to cancelling or postponing a plan. This one can be really tough for many of us. We start thinking that saying no might hurt others. But being able to say ‘no’ to requests or invitations is an important aspect of giving ourselves more time and space.

There is nothing wrong in cancelling a plan once in a while and enjoying or resting alone.

3. Cut down on electronics

When we decide to spend time with ourselves, we can first try to cut back on electronics during that time and try not to use social media or watch T.V for that period of time. Instead we can use our time in a much more fun and productive way. For example- reading, exercising, playing sports or painting.

4. Schedule work

The way it is important to schedule a 'me' time, it is equally important to schedule a work time. Sometimes what happens is that we get so immersed in working that we forget to give time to ourselves. This is when scheduling comes in.

If we start scheduling our work time, we will automatically find time for ourselves as we won’t constantly be running behind deadlines.

Maintaining a schedule also would help us track our time and productivity, leading to greater academic/professional success.

5. Monthly treat

We all deserve some kind of reinforcement to keep us going. Well, why not treat ourselves once a month? This can be anything, like getting a cool new haircut, going to a restaurant, watching a movie, going to a spa, etc! We can decide a task for yourself each month. If we are successful in accomplishing that task, our treat is waiting for us and we can indulge without any guilt!

Most people think that spending time by ourselves is selfish or self-centred. Trust me, it is not. It is one of the best gifts you can give our self wrapped with long term benefits like being happier and having greate self-esteem.

View more content by Aashkaa Nair

Discussion Board

Why do we tend to undervalue our emotions?

Rohit Chopra
In my opinion we do so because of mostly two reasons: 1. Lack of awareness about mental health 2. Not giving importance to personal space and freedom 😇🙏