self care


A 10-year study* found that people who were depressed tended to spend more time doing self-care while people who were the happiest tended to spend time taking care of others.

What Society Teaches

While everyone needs enough food and a safe place to live, buying into consumerism may be bad for your mental health. Society teaches that you need to work to buy more things. Then, you will be happy. When you follow this path, you may soon discover that you may be even lonelier than before, but you now have more items to take care of regularly. Therefore, you have to work even harder to take care of the stuff you already own. It is a repetitive cycle that sets you up to be incredibly lonely.

How to Break the Cycle

If you want to stop being lonely, then start sharing your time and energy with others. Instead of just buying stuff for yourself, can some of your disposable income go towards a cause you believe in, or help someone in need?

Setting the Right Priorities

In order to receive a mental boost and not feel lonely, you must be sure to set the right priorities. If you focus on the other person’s problems, you will feel even more depleted. Only when you focus on the difference you are making in someone else’s life will you feel rewarded. It’s not about the material goods you are giving away, but about building connections with other people.

Focus on the Big Impact

If you make the focus too narrow, you may run the risk of getting hurt. Instead, focus on the bigger picture. While you and the other individuals will still have ups and downs, you will have a driving force that keeps you moving in the right direction. Invite your friends and neighbors to help you make an impact, as it is far better when a team is working to solve a problem than when one person is working alone.

When you focus only on your own needs, you tie yourself in a knot. You will see everything falling apart and find the glass half empty instead of half full. When volunteering, you focus on the needs of others, then you have less time to think about your own needs, so the knot comes untied. You start to feel more empathetic towards others.

Self-care does not have to be about you. Instead, it can be about building a stronger community filled with people who have empathy for others.