How to Prepare Your Mind for Self-Care?

Black letters that say "Self-Care Isn't Selfish." on a white crumbled paper background. Gold and black Galeano Massage background

We all often hear that we should be doing self-care. For some reason, we might be holding back from doing something for ourselves.

As a general rule, mental preparation for self-care involves cultivating self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love. Learning that when you take care of yourself, you are healthier and are able to give to others. Recognizing you need to set boundaries for others so you have the ability to do self-care.

If you notice that you want to do self-care but hold off from doing it, there could be thoughts that are preventing you from starting self-care or continuing self-care. Learn how you can mentally prepare yourself to perform self-care.

Cultivate the Qualities Needed for Self-Care

Often when people neglect their self-care, they are people that give, give, give, and feel they don’t deserve the same time and attention they give to other people. This can be linked to their childhood and how they were treated while being raised. If your parents or friends always expected you to empty yourself out constantly and never should you expect the same of other people, then you will carry this on into adulthood. You’re the DOER and the GIVER.

If you have been abused in any way and have unprocessed trauma associated with the abuse you will likely experience low self-esteem. Low self-esteem doesn’t always amount to someone being a giver but it very well could happen. Your feelings of low self-worth can cause you to mask the problem by always trying to “buy” the love and approval of other people.

Addressing the lack of self-esteem, self-love, and self-worth is crucial to a healthy mindset. Start by identifying the deepest feelings you feel about yourself. This can take time. Writing your feelings in a journal is often a very useful strategy for unburdening yourself of buried emotions and getting out of your head and onto paper.

Start to question every feeling and analyze if it’s really true, or did other people’s words and actions lead you to accept the belief. List down your good qualities. Think about all the times you did or said something good to other people. What kind of person would you describe yourself as? Good? Bad? A little of both?

Learning more about yourself is imperative to cultivating self-love. If you weren’t inside of yourself and you could see yourself interacting in life, what kind of person would you believe that person to be? Trying to see yourself from the outside can help you to develop compassion for yourself.

Reciting a new positive affirmation each day can help you to reprogram how you feel about yourself. Such as “I love myself, I am a good person, I deserve to be treated with respect”. Once you’ve got this down, start to add the reasons WHY. Telling yourself why you believe these things are true is a very powerful tool for developing self-love. Just avoid developing a superiority complex by ensuring that you show yourself and others respect.

Gain the Correct Perspective of Your Time and Energy

You may feel that by taking care of everyone else’s needs first, you are doing your job and then you can take care of yourself. However, giving yourself the crumbs of your time and attention is not a healthy practice. Realize that each individual has a personal responsibility to accomplish their own tasks. Taking over could be a manipulation tool we have developed to gain control over outcomes. This is deeply rooted in fear.

We might have the tendency to justify ourselves and our actions. However, it’s good to take a deep breath, step back, and ask ourselves if we are doing too much for others. Naturally, this will limit the time that we have for taking care of ourselves. We can develop this deep-seated sense of self-neglect.

Take a sheet of paper and write down all the things that you are doing for yourself and others. Now look at that sheet and start to check off the tasks that can be delegated, are not your responsibility, and that are not a priority. Start a new list of the things that are non-negotiable and a priority for you to accomplish. Inform others that you will no longer be able to do certain things for them. Make it your aim to devote less time to non-essential tasks.

Once you step back and see that you are misusing your 24 hours (we all only get 24 hours a day), you can start to understand that changes in responsibilities need to be made and you need to reorganize your time so that you can practice self-care. To think about…if others have time to take care of themselves, why can’t you?

Learn to Set Boundaries

Admittedly, this can be the more challenging part- establishing and enforcing boundaries. For this, you’re going to need to develop a thick skin and that takes courage. Others may not respect the new changes you have made regarding your time and energy. You may also have a difficult time respecting your own time and energy. Change takes time. Be patient but persistent.

Recognize it’s not your fault if others demand more of you than you are able or willing to give. They are responsible for their own feelings and behavior. If setting boundaries is stressing you out, it’s a clear sign that you need more self-care. We don’t want to borrow or own other people’s emotions. Your responsibility is only to care for your own emotions.

Keep practicing journaling, writing down your thoughts and emotions, questioning if they are true, daily affirmations, picking the weeds out of your schedule, and delegating tasks that do not belong to you. Cultivating the qualities of self-love and compassion will empower you to keep fighting for yourself. The better you take care of yourself the better person you will be overall.

I have been through this process and it felt very liberating to become aware of my need to take care of myself. It put me in a better place to make time and space for practicing my own self-care. I don’t regret one bit the efforts I have made to become healthier in my mind and body.

You will also need to check in with yourself to see if the old habits of neglecting yourself are creeping back in. Once you start practicing self-care, you are less willing to give it up because you feel happier and more energetic. You are worth taking care of and it starts with you!

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The content in this article is for informational, entertainment, and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a trained qualified physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Galeano Massage nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, or supplements or those diagnosed with a medical illness should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program


I've been practicing Massage Therapy since 2014. I'm a health and wellness enthusiast. I'm always learning and experimenting with different techniques, recipes, and healing modalities. I believe that we need to approach health and wellness from a WHOLE-listic point of view and understand that it will constantly be changing and is never stagnant. We are all unique and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another person. As I grow, change, and experiment I will share what I have learned as it may help someone else in need.

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