When we come away from a toxic relationship, we have often ended up leaving a shell of our former selves. If you had narcissistic parent, you might not have indeed known who you was before through the narcissists gaslighting, silent treatments, blame-shifting and projection, and crippling manipulation methods they use against us. Most of us are left with anxiety, trauma bonding, CPTSD, self-doubt, low self-worth and low self-esteem with little confidence and trust in others as well as in ourselves and our own abilities.
The saying it costs nothing to be kind is true. Yet if you are helpful to the wrong people, it can cost you everything. We all need to learn so we don’t get involved with these kinds of toxic people again is how to be kind to ourselves first.
Practising self-care isn’t easy to start, primarily when you are used to taking care of those around you first. Life is crazy at times, and with toxic ex’s, parents, or friends, doing all they can to hurt you, your own mind and state can get knocked off balance. We can also feel guilty taking care of our individual needs. First, it’s a challenge to start. Once you achieve it, you’ll never look back.
1. Don’t overwhelm yourself by doing it all at once.
2. Try starting your day right, getting up earlier and planning the night before if you’re usually rushing in the morning.
3. Be proud of who you are and who you are becoming.
4. Don’t listen to negative opinions of others. Listen to your own mind and heart; start doing what’s right for you.
5. Learn when to say yes and when to say no.
6. Focus on creating time to do things you love doing for yourself.
7. Remind yourself daily you are enough.
8. Recognising your achievements.
9. Learn from mistakes. We all make them.
What self-care isn’t?
Self-care is not selfish. It is not only about considering our individual needs. It’s also about knowing and understanding them. Putting yourself first is not narcissistic, but it’s also merely narcissistic if you use and abuse others to get your needs met. If you are kind to yourself before you are kind to others, narcissistic people will no longer be able to take advantage of you.
What self-care is?
A self-care plan is vital to stop you from becoming stuck in the past and keep you working towards a better future, saving yourself from the painful past, working on the present for that brighter future.
We are all individuals, so do what is right and works best for you.
Having a plan helps you to lose the guesswork; it also encourages you to stay on track.
Self-care is a deliberate act within ourselves to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health first, so we can be at our personal best to take care of others, without being taken down by toxic people. We often overlook self-care to help others out. When others are not interested in helping us, our own inner needs get more and more neglected as we try to help those who are unable to help themselves.
To start, you need to stick to the basics, creating new routines and habits for you. Just start simple and basic, then keep adding more. You need to actively plan using your conscious thoughts in the beginning until your subconscious has been programmed to do it naturally.
1. Categorise lists and do them in priority order.
Relationships (friends, family etc.)
Be authentic with yourself, note things that might stand in your way and take action to see what you can do.
An essential checklist to get yourself started.
- Start with a list of things you don’t like, something you don’t want to do and behaviours you’ll no longer accept from yourself and from others. Things like, I’m no longer checking their social media, people who can not accept no are not the people for my life. I need to stop people-pleasing. I need to stop putting myself last. I want to get up in a morning at the time set. The reason I need to get up is…………
- Learn my boundaries around others.
- Saying no to others can be challenging to start. However, it’s a must when you really don’t want to do something or don’t have the time.
- Create a list of your own beliefs and standards. You don’t need to do them all at once. You can keep adding and only ever change them for you.
- A healthy diet, start slow if you’ve not done it before, keep a diary of your eating habits, to keep you accountable.
- Start a simple exercise routine, listen to motivational videos, meditation, yoga, find things that pick you up on low moments and help you keep focus. This can help your mental and physical health-boosting your mood and lowering your stress.
- Try to get enough sleep, and if you stop up way too late and feel tired in a morning, just go to bed 5 minutes early each night until you get to the time you’d like to go to bed, same in a morning if you get up way too late and end up rushing get up 5 minutes early, try to prepare things you can the evening before if you always find yourself rushing around in a morning. Sleep can have negative effects if you’re not getting enough and positive impact on your emotional and physical health when you are.
- Spend time around positive quality people, it rubs off on you, go to new places to meet new people this can be hard to start if you’ve been isolated, try getting in touch with old friends and family who you know are good people, smile at others and pay them compliments.
- Keep a reflection journal, one if you still miss the ex, write the negatives about the relationship and look at them when you’re having doubts. Then a positive journal. Each day try to add at least three things you’ve achieved in that day, also put something down you’d like to accomplish the next day to keep yourself accountable.
- Get organised, keep notes of appointments and where you’re supposed to be when
- Try to get some time to relax, doing what you’d like to do for yourself.
- Talk moments through with good understanding people. Any time you’re feeling down or low, chat to the right people.
- Look for an opportunity to laugh. Laughing really is the best medicine.
Start with a simple self-care plan and keep adding to it, write it down to hold yourself accountable, ask yourself, what could get in my way? If something would ask, what can I do about it? Can you remove it? Or do you need to change something? Can you work around it?
If you really find yourself sinking, you’re allowed to dwell. Just don’t stay there too long. Set a timer on your phone around 30 minutes, allow yourself to deal with the emotions, write it all out. It might get ugly. Process it. Then when the timer goes off, make yourself go and do something that lifts your spirits, think of the good things that are going for you now, no matter how small, go for a walk, put some uplifting music on.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach. She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
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