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Self-care is the essential practice of engaging in regular activities or practices to reduce stress, maintain and enhance our physical, emotional, mental well-being and health. It’s learning to take care of yourself, knowing your limits, and not sacrificing your health for others. More people are learning about the importance of making sure they fill their own tank first. This can also be manifest in giving more importance to your own needs than to societal stigmas that you may get for taking care of yourself. These are a few ways in which we can take care of our health regardless of societal norms.

See a therapist

A therapist is a worthwhile person to have in your life. A therapist will be able to help you work through toxic thought patterns you've developed that have led your life. Your belief systems can impact the way you operate in the world. A therapist is equipped with the tools to help you recognize toxic patterns and replace them with healthy ones. There’s a stigma that there is something wrong with you if you see a therapist, but that is not the case. Taking care of our mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. We don’t give people a hard time for visiting their primary care physician or taking medications they prescribe. We should shrug away the stigma of doing the same with mental health professionals.

Remove toxic people from your life

When you have bad energy around you, it can completely derail your life. Take a look at some of the celebrities that had the most promising careers. In many cases, they were surrounded by bad company. As a result, they indulged in destructive behaviors that led to their demise. Nobody is perfect, but when someone continually keeps putting you down and does not improve after being educated or corrected then you may want to consider removing contact. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. It's okay to forgive and move on. If people are not willing to put effort into your well-being you are not obliged to owe them your time and presence.

You have the power to decide who you want in your space. This isn’t saying that you burn every bridge and never forgive. However, things become a problem if they start affecting your daily life. Is there someone who generates dread and anxiety when you have to interact with them? Does that affect you for longer than the interaction? You may want to consider removing them from your life. Block them from social media. Give yourself permission to decline invitations. If it’s a family member or someone you can’t completely ignore, you may want to consider setting strict boundaries and minimize contact while toxic behavior continues for your own health’s sake.

Remove stigma from medication

There is a stigma attached to medication. Societal labels have left many people silently suffering from issues that medication can resolve. If you have been prescribed a medication for to help with your physical, emotional, mental, sexual health. You would not shame a diabetic for taking their insulin. You shouldn’t shame someone for taking anxiety medication or someone for taking .erectile dysfunction treatment meds You're not at a disadvantage because you need to take a specific pill every day. In fact, you'll put yourself at a disadvantage if you don't. There should be no stigma behind getting to have a better quality of life in any area of your life. If your body can’t produce certain chemicals then store-bought is fine.

Grow a support system

Just like bad energy is contagious, good energy is impactful. Understand that you can't live life on your own. It's so wise to find supportive people to love you, cheer for you and be there for you. It's also equally important to show up for them as well. When you have a tribe of love and light surrounding you, there's almost nothing you can't face. Just like you should remove yourself from people who continually put you down, you should seek to be the type of friend that people want to be around. Families can be born into, but as we know they can be chosen. Try and be the type of friend you want to have. Remember that online friendships are as real and valid as local ones. There are plenty of applications to allow you and the gang to stay in touch daily. Try and build each other up. Let your friendship circle be a place where people feel comfortable being vulnerable, being authentic, being validated in their sense of self. Love is powerful.

Allow yourself to say no

Love yourself enough to know when you've had enough. Speak up for yourself when you're in a position that you're not comfortable with. In your heart, you know when you're in a compromising circumstance. Always do the right thing, and remember it's okay to say no. This can be applied to dating, to a spouse, to work, to friends. Know your limits. Don’t spread yourself so thin your own needs are never met. You can’t be a good friend, co-worker, family member, spouse if you aren’t good to yourself first. It’s always easier for most people to take care of loved ones than it is to take care of yourself. If that sounds like you then I invite you to treat yourself as if it was you were a loved one. What advice would you give them? Answer and follow it for yourself.

As you work to set boundaries and implement these tips, realize that it's not uncommon to experience some tension. It can be a challenging process to move through these steps. However, do the work. You'll be a better and healthier person for it.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.