For most people, self-care means bubble baths, a good book or show, going for a walk, or taking a nap. Your body is aching, you’re tired, and your brain is turning to mush trying to remember everything you need to do. No matter what is happening, you are burnt out and need a break.
However, a bubble bath can only do so much.
Some stresses are not from a busy day of work and errands. They come from the expectations and rules we put on ourselves. We hold ourselves to a certain level of perfection and accomplishment, thinking it would give us a feeling of fulfillment, but instead, it drags us down with anxiety, despair, and constant burnout.
It’s time to let go.
6 Things We Need to Stop Caring About
1.What people think of you
It’s exhausting to constantly people-please to win their favor. Affection isn’t something you must earn. Praise won’t take away insecurities. No matter what you do, it’s impossible to make everyone like you. What you can control is how much you like yourself, and that is more important and fulfilling than the approval of an outsider. 
2. How you compare to others
Often people look at others to determine whether or not they are good enough. Don’t fall into this rabbit hole. All that comparing accomplishes is drawing the spotlight away from your attributes to your faults. This is a fast pass to a miserable life.
There will always be someone ‘better’ than you at something. ‘Better’ is in quotes because it is subjective. You are a unique individual and no one can do your job, parent your children, tell your story, make your art, or live your life as well as you can. So get off Instagram’s celebrity feed and take a good look in the mirror instead. 
3. Societal expectations
Society seems to dictate the right clothes to wear, the right car to drive, and the right way to post on social media. It’s stressful to follow this beaten path when you derive no satisfaction from it. It’s time to reflect on what you really want. Make your choices based on your needs and desires, not what every else is doing. 
4. Being perfect
It’s a natural inclination to impress others. They must think you have the perfect job, perfect kids, perfect home, perfect wardrobe, and perfect life.
Here’s the truth: Nobody is perfect, even that model on Instagram with her mansion, hunk of a husband, adorable kids, and a perfect manicure every day. She has something going on behind closed doors, so stop trying imitate a persona that doesn’t exist. Reevaluate your standards and determine whether or not they are realistic. 
5. Other people’s expectations for your life
People love telling you what to do, how you should work, what you should drive, how you should parent your kids, and where you should live. Most of the time, this advice comes from good intentions but it may put unwanted pressure on you to comply, even against your will.
Only you know all of your needs, wants, and aspirations, and you are capable of making your own choices. Don’t give to other’s expectations of you just to please them. You may build resentment against them later on.
This is your life and you are in charge of it, so choose accordingly. 
6. Anything outside of your control
This is perhaps the most vital thing to stop caring about.
You might believe you could stop bad things from happening if you take control of a situation. Most of the time, you can’t. You can try to force people to change, micro-manage, and tear your hair out, but this is a waste of time and energy. You may help others, but don’t take on their problems. Think honestly about whether your input would help before you intercede. Consider what fear are you hiding from when you take control and come to terms with it.
The world and the people in it are doing a fine job coping by themselves; they don’t need your interference. 
Self-Care by Not Caring
You’re only responsible for your own happiness. Do the best you can, and that’s all you can do. Respect others and grant yourself that same respect. You don’t have the time or capacity to worry about unimportant things that get in the way of your goals. They won’t matter in the next few years anyway. So let them go. You’re enough without them.
This type of self-care is mental, which means it’s harder than filling a bath or giving yourself a manicure, but it’s worth it. Stop focusing on what’s on the outside and start focusing on the inside. Let go of the restrictions others put on you and you put on yourself.
Stop caring and start living.
- David Sack M.D. 8 Ways to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/where-science-meets-the-steps/201610/8-ways-stop-worrying-about-what-other-people-think Oct 17, 2016
- Mike Tyrrell. How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others https://www.self-confidence.co.uk/articles/stop-comparing-yourself-to-others/
- Gustavo Razzetti. Live Your Life for You, Not to Please Expectations https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-adaptive-mind/201810/live-your-life-you-not-please-expectations Posted Oct 24, 2018
- Dr. Bob Wright. Get Past Perfectionism: Stop Trying to Be Perfect https://wrightfoundation.org/stop-trying-to-be-perfect/ June 26, 2018
- Ronit Baras. The Art of Letting Go: Living up to Others’ Expectations https://www.ronitbaras.com/emotional-intelligence/personal-development/the-art-of-letting-go-living-up-to-others-expectations/
- Amy Morin. 6 Ways to Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Control. https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/6-ways-to-stop-worrying-about-things-you-cant-control.html April 13, 2017
The post The best way to practice self care is to care less appeared first on The Hearty Soul.