Self-care is a concept that means something different to everyone, and even then it changes day by day. It’s not just about lighting a candle, putting on a sheet mask, and doing your nails, although it might look like that some days, self-care is about prioritising yourself. What makes you feel best, what makes you feel most like yourself, and what is the best way you can put yourself first?
The line between wanting to help and doing it because you want to please people so you don’t feel guilty or rejected is a fine one. When you help others just to please them, you’re taking things to a decidedly unhealthy level. Not only can wanting to please others all the time put a lot of extra stress and pressure on yourself but in the worst-case scenario, “you’ll wake up and find yourself depressed because you’re [overloaded and] can’t do it all,” says Susan Newman, a social psychologist and author of The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It – And Mean it And Stop People-pleasing Forever.
If these characteristics feel relatable, it might be time to get in the practice of saying no and learn to put yourself first. Here are five changes you can make to break out of the people pleaser syndrome.