One of the hardest things to do after being in a narcissistic or any other kind of toxic relationship is to practice self-care. Self-care is an art. Not a science.
At first, the temptation can be to write out a list of different things that must be done for self-care to take place. There is no right or wrong way. However, a must-follow list will only have you focusing on rigidity. Self-care shouldn’t be painstaking.
The common things that we think of when it comes to self-care is polishing our nails, going to the spa, shampooing our hair, etc. All these things are part of self-care. However, when you think of self-care in terms of caring for your mind, body, and soul (mind, will, and emotions), the things that you do to enforce self-care will become more of a holistic and natural approach rather than one that is forced.
One thing that helps to reinforce a natural approach is to journal, asking your mind, body, and soul, “What do you need today?”
Narcissistic relationships drain all your resources and energy on every level. This was your norm and has to be unlearned. And as with any other habit, releasing one habit means replacing it with another.
Developing principles of self-care for yourself, and then other care for your children, extended family, and other important relationships in your life will be the driving force for helping you to move forward.
Once you know what these principles will look like, then you can establish boundaries around these principles for yourself and others. For years you have conditioned yourself to placing yourself at the bottom of the list. After your partner. After your children. And after everyone else. And in some instances, not at all.
Self-Care as Self-Love
Self-care is part of self-love. And self-love is part of the practice of developing an intimate relationship with yourself by becoming self-aware of who you are as a person, where you are as a person, and where it is you are going, along with where you want to be.
You are already enough. You do not have to wear yourself down and ignore your self in order to please others and gain approval from others. Grab your keys to the kingdom and get your inheritance.