"and every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling 'this is important! and this is important! and this is important! you need to worry about this! and this! and this!' and each day, it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say "no this is what's important" -ian thomas
What does it even mean to practice self-care? It's a term that gets thrown around a lot in the psychology world. As helpers, self-care is super important because we can't possibly give back to another person if we aren't taking care of ourselves. But this holds true for anyone.
How do you give to yourself? You first make it a habit to ask "what is it that I'm feeling?" and answer that honestly. Not with bullshit. Not with excuses. But with real honesty that you might not normally say out loud. That's important. Not until we do that will we be able to start making ourselves happy.
See, as humans we look to others for acceptance. For comfort... but sometimes we can get so wrapped up in that we start trying to please other people more, just to receive the validation that we are loved. What happens though, is we lose track of ourselves. We start to resent those other people for not asking us what WE want for a change. And why should they? We don't even ask ourself that question... see the connection there?
If we want to be treated a certain way we need to start with ourselves. People will continue to do what you allow. It's not up to them to change, it's up to you. Sitting and waiting around for our needs to be met by others while we continue to meet their needs does not make us great, lovable people. We are already great lovable people. We don't have to prove that to anyone... especially at our own expense.
So ask yourself today, "what do I want?" and then go out and do that. Whatever it is. Start to honor your own wants and needs and it will encourage others to do the same. If they don't, eventually that won't matter anymore. Because by then you would have loved yourself enough to realize that what you want is something better.