Taking care of yourself

Taking care of yourself

“When admiring other people's gardens, don't forget to tend to your own flowers.”
Sanober Khan
A plant can bloom into stunningly beautiful flowers when taken care of. A tree can thrive into grandiosity when there is bountiful air, sunlight, nutrients, raindrops and care. There is no limit to how things can become magnificent when taken beautifully care of. However, when it comes to our own turn,the story is different.
Every time the topic is heard of taking care of ourselves, we are so venomously filled with skepticism that we want to run away from it as far as we could. If given choice, we would like to deny its existence, will surrender to anything and want to avoid this discussion at any cost. We are petrified with the very thought of it. I don’t know where we adapted to this notion of not taking care of ourselves that when someone asks whether we take care of ourselves or not, our throats become parched to answer and with a nod we change the topic very quickly. We are very afraid of it and don’t ever want it to enter into our life. We believe self care comes with indulging ourselves with self harm. It is the path of a spiritual person not for mere ordinary people like us. I was also the same skeptic person. While I was making my mind to open a blog, I thought I would write about other things than self care and self love. I just didn’t know about it at all or to say it in a blunt way was filled with skepticism regarding it.  But in due course I realized I was doing more harm to myself than anybody else had done to me. This journey of taking care of myself has finally healed me and strengthened me to realize that No, I was taught wrong. Self care is crucial. It is the foundation without which no building can stand still.
 “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe,

deserve your love and affection.”

Taking care of yourself

There are many forms of taking care of ourselves. But here I will talk about our simple habit that has such a huge impact on us and how we can modify it to the betterment of ourselves. It started with an incident.
The incident took place on a typical week day. I had just gotten some leave days for preparing for exams. I had already exhausted myself enough throughout the previous week with the same old routine. I wasn’t feeling that good at all. I had a phone conversation with my friend last night who told me you are giving yourself a hard time. It was indeed true. So, I just stayed without doing anything the following day consuming whatever I could find on the internet.  I started the day late. I was quite panicked to be honest doing nothing. It felt like I was committing sin when exams were coming nearer. My heart was feeling heavy. Then I slowly got up, did my usual routine.  As I was slowly returning to my previous state I told myself, “Akriti (You can substitute your own name instead of mine and follow with me) you are doing good. You may not feel like you haven’t done much, but you have been working very hard. You have conquered feelings like this before too and I know you can do this time too. It’s okay. You can do this. I am with you. It’s okay to feel that way. I am sorry for giving you a hard time, pushing you expectation after expectations, never appreciating you, always pushing demands on you. I am sorry for not holding your hand when you felt scared. I am sorry for leaving you when there was no one. I am sorry for not taking a stand when I should have taken for you. I am sorry for not believing in your potential. I am sorry for doubting your abilities. I know you can do much better. I know you can go beyond the horizon. It’s okay even if you feel you don’t know anything for now or don’t know where you are going. I will always be there for you. I am sorry for beating yourself up for tiny little things. I am going to protect you from anything that will harm you. I will be there for you as you grow and improve each day. I will always be there for you to listen and say it’s okay I am here for you. Let’s take this baby step. I have forgiven every mistake that you go back and forth to remind how you have messed up yourself, met wrong people. I will also let go the uncertainty that comes with the future. I am here for you as a friend.”
I am telling this myself the second time and even while writing this, I felt a sense of relief in my heart like I felt for the first time. I hope it brought peace to your heart as well. Yes, the habit I am going to talk about for taking care of ourselves is giving up self criticism. Sadly, we have already given ourselves readily into this habit of always self criticizing ourselves telling how bad we are at something. How things are going wrong. How we cannot do a thing. We just keep on doubting ourselves over and over again. We also give in to words of people who hurt us taking it very personally. How things are meant to fail and how we don’t amount to anything. If anyone could look into our mind, they will hug us thinking how much we are hurting ourselves with our own thinking. Our thoughts can be destructive at times. But just because people cannot see it we also try to brush it off thinking it is just natural to believe them and hurting ourselves all over again. We have been carrying this burden of self criticism with us everywhere we go. It is true that we cannot control what thinking comes to our mind. It is also true that we aren’t thoughts. But believing whatever thoughts that come to our mind can manifest into what thoughts want to project. It is only light that can pierce through darkness. Darkness cannot cancel darkness. Thus negative thoughts cannot possibly lead to positive life. To counteract, first we should give this negative habit of criticizing ourselves all the time.
“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren't more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”

-Kristen Neff
Our culture has made it seem we have to be kind to others but not to ourselves. How our own achievement seems little to us, how we think so lightly of ourselves with the irony of putting ourselves with work after work and trying to meet every expectation of people that come to our life.  Our modern culture has given in to this hustle culture that work comes before us and we will sleep only when we die till then let’s give ourselves a hard time. I fully understand that without hard work it is very hard to survive in a competitive world like today. But our commitment to prepare for living has made us postpone living in the first place. We deprive ourselves of our own care and attention. When it came to me, what I did was I just pushed myself like a robot. I felt like I had to do work after work. I was unconsciously telling myself this isn’t good. This isn’t the best you can do. There was a time I woke up at 12 am and slept at 1 am on the day of exams. I was criticizing myself every time and thus was never ever satisfied with whatever I had achieved, whatever I did. Even long after my school days, I was doing the same. Always pushing myself. My friend was speaking the truth. It was no one but myself who gave hard time to me pushing unrealistic expectations, never looking into the depth of myself how I was feeling because of it. It took me a long time to realize that nothing matters much more than our well being.

Taking care of yourself

 I also believe we cannot care for others if we don’t care for ourselves. It seems impossible but it is the truth. If we keep on talking bad about ourselves, we won’t have anything to talk good about others. We will be quick to find fault in others just like we find it in ourselves. You may think I do all the time so I can do it for others but not for myself. It won’t be lasting this way. True love comes from within. And no matter what our culture has said to us, we can always unlearn and learn in different ways. Taking care of ourselves means leaving things that hurt us like our own criticisms.
“Who will you love if not yourself? Other people? How can you love someone for anything but their raw, naked humanity? How can you say you love someone if it is not for their flaws and quirks, snorts and hurts, triggers and tears? Anything else is not love. It is idealization. And, as long as you do it to yourself, you will do it to everyone. You will not love anyone or anything until those eyes in the mirror soften up and embrace the beauty that is already within.”
Vironika Tugaleva
What we speak to ourselves becomes our identity. We believe those words that we tell ourselves and we wouldn’t embrace change because it will go against the identity we are holding into it. So those words no matter how vague it appears, can have such a detrimental effect on us.  When we think we are lacking, we will always believe we are lacking. When we think we are not good, no amount of compliment from others will ever satisfy us. So always be careful of what you say to yourself. We can still do anything without scolding ourselves. It is a good thing to be reflective. True progress lies in constant monitoring but it is not a good thing to be judgmental of ourselves always. This constant deprivement of love makes us go and seek for perfect love elsewhere when it was within us all the time. It is neither a hard thing nor a bad thing to love ourselves no matter how society has convinced ourselves to it. If we keep on criticizing ourselves we will also take away every chance for us to improve and heal. We are not as bad as society makes us to be. Maybe we mess up at times but we can always change the outcome. When the cause is good, you can always go for it instead of always pulling yourself down for the mistakes that already happened. There is always hope. Please don’t give in to your own judgement so easily.

Taking care of yourself

We are our own biggest critic because we spend so much time with ourselves to pinpoint our flaws exactly. We don’t ever seem happy with the way we are. On top of that, society preys on our insecurity. It is like the survival of the fittest as Charles Darwin said. So please don’t give in to the judgments of others. Don't give into judgement of your own mind. Replace it with kind words. You need care and you are the only one who can take care of yourself properly.
Taking care of ourselves doesn’t mean to give into bad habits just for temporary pleasure. It means to understand what is good for us and go for it no matter how difficult it is. While we are doing so, we can however be kind instead of being critical. That way, hard times seem to pass soon and easily too.
So from the next time, you feel your heart down with thoughts, just look at what they are telling you. Just look at what you yourself are telling to yourself. You cannot always control what thoughts you will have but you can reframe saying “I am good enough. I can do this. I will do this.” Always be kind to yourself. We are worthy of love. We deserve a good life and it all starts with what you say to yourself.
“You've been criticising yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
Louise Hay
Taking care of yourself
This concludes my article. Hope it was helpful to you. If you are going through hard times, give a pat to yourself. Hard time won’t disappear itself but what we can do is not make it worse than it is. Only talking good wouldn’t change things. We have to put it into action. What we can do is take action while not being hard on ourselves. Let’s be kind to ourselves.  Let’s be our friends first. Let’s strive to become one. I wish you healing and all the very best for your days coming.


  1. Wow, can feel now you were feeling writing this ...been through that and learnt from that experiences...yes definitely, when we take care of yourself when we are kind for oneself..the kindness naturally flows out of you and reaches others...