I am a lifestyle enthusiast. I believe that with few positive changes in lifestyle we can improve the quality of our life and health.
The Truth of It All
I met my friend the other day and she looked quite sad.
“What is the matter?” I asked her, Why do you look so depressed?”
And her answer quite surprised me. She said, “People take me for granted. I have always helped everyone, whether it is family or friends. All my life I have tried to be the best daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. But now, it has taken a toll on me. Nobody seems to care about my feelings or my emotions. I feel taken for granted and want to give up everything and go off somewhere, disappear even,” she said sadly.
I was struck by the truth of it all.
When you're always there for people they stop appreciating you because your favors are now an expectation.
We often try to fit into the role model that society places on us, seldom thinking about ourselves. In trying to fit into the mould of the best daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend, we give up our own on our own mental, physical and emotional health. And what do we get in return? They expect us to go on doing everything for them without thinking about our problems, health, comfort and feelings. This can cause immense harm and lead to sadness and depression.
So what is the remedy for this? What can we do to safeguard our health while helping others? So we decided to seek advice from my aunt, who was my role model. A soft-spoken, kind lady, fiercely independent and strong who had made her mark in her career as a counsellor, while fulfilling her familial duties with aplomb. Here’s what she said:
Time to Fix the Problem
“I understand being emotionally present for family and friends without having support for oneself can be exhausting. Running off or disappearing will not solve the problem. There are solutions for this. Here are some helpful tips:
- Set Boundaries: You must learn to set boundaries about how much you can and want to do for others. More importantly, you need to learn to say no sometimes and communicate assertively about your anxieties and discomfort
- Take Care of Your Own Health: Indulge in self-care without feeling guilty. Only when you are healthy can you do anything for others. Include exercise, meditation, nutritious food, hydration, and adequate rest in your routine.
- Pursue hobbies: Find some hobbies that you are passionate about, like writing, painting, music, baking, and sports, instead of being on-screen. When you consistently pursue something that you love, it will greatly reduce stress, and enhance your mental and physical health.
If they don't respect, appreciate and value you, then they don't deserve you
— Robert Tew
- Socialize: Being with like-minded people who have a positive attitude and are cheerful and fun to be with can greatly improve your mood and make you happier. Seek out and socialize with such people. You can always safely confide in such good friends without them taking advantage of you. It brings a sense of belonging and safety. Doctors feel It is good for brain health and an antidote to dementia.
- Learn New Skills: The tasks of a mundane life striving every day can be quite tedious. Learning something new and interesting will give you motivation. It will increase your confidence. Doctors also say it is an antidote to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
- Delegate Responsibilities: You must let people take responsibility for their actions and troubles and not go out of your way to help them. They should know that you cannot provide solutions for all their problems. They have to find their own way out.
Even the most caring people can get tired of being taken for granted.
— Nishan Panwar
- Practice Self-Compassion: Let others know that you have your own engagements and duties to perform. It is non-negotiable to give up your life to do good for others. Give equal importance to your own needs as to others.
- Communicate Feely: Tell them honestly and frankly how much you can and cannot do for them. There is no need for any accusations or confrontations. Don’t be mistaken that they will understand your distress, needs and preferences.
- Avoid Toxic People: Toxic people can have a negative impact on your mental health. They obviously take you for granted and only cause you harm in the long run. Instead, focus your time and energy on improving yourself and seek the company of positive, like-minded people.
- Let go of the Guilt: Stop feeling guilty; you cannot help all the people all the time, however hard you may try. Stop expecting anything from anyone. Try to be as self-sufficient as possible. Self-help is the best help. Turn inwards for true happiness. Allot some time every day as me time and utilize it for yoga, mindful meditation, deep breathing, listening to music, reading, etc. that help you to relax and keep calm.
When others do not appreciate all that you do for them, and do not care for your well-being, it is time to put a stop to this behaviour of theirs and make them realize your worth. Unless you stand up to someone who does not value you, it is not possible for you to be happy. You have to value yourself, step up and utilize your energy and time for your own upliftment before you go out of your way to help people who do not care about you.
If the above tips do not seem to work and you still feel lonely and depressed, maybe it is better to seek the help of a professional therapist. Meanwhile, ensure that you eat well, stay hydrated, sleep well and exercise regularly.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 VIDYA D SAGAR