1. You don’t think your problems are a big deal compared to everyone else’s problems.
You feel like you’ don’t have the right to complain about your life. You feel like you’re being a brat by whining about how hard you have it when you know other people have it so much worse than you. You act like everything is okay because you don’t want to overreact.
But you’re allowed to feel your emotions. They are valid. They are real. You don’t have to pretend you’re perfectly fine because you feel guilty about your life not being worse. Your problems are still problems. You have a right to be sad.
2. You are too busy worrying about your friends and family to worry about yourself.
Instead of focusing on your own needs, you’re too busy taking care of everyone around you. You care about them more than you care about yourself so it makes for the perfect distraction. You don’t have the time or the energy to focus on doing what needs to be done for your own mental health because you’re playing caretaker. You’re trying to rescue everyone else because you’re unsure of how to save yourself.
But if you really want to be there for the people you love, you need to take care of yourself first. If you burn out, you won’t be able to be there for them anymore. Taking care of yourself will also help them.
3. You don’t want to be a burden to your loved ones.
You don’t want your family and friends to worry about you. You don’t want to let them know how hard life has been lately because it might put a damper on their day, and you don’t want to be an inconvenience. You don’t want to cause them any trouble. You would rather deal with your problems on your own to avoid causing them stress.
But you have to think about how you would react if the roles were reversed. If a loved one was struggling, would you blame them for bringing you stress? Would you wish they kept their problems to themselves? Of course not. You would be glad they opened up to you — and that’s exactly how your loved ones are going to feel when you’re honest with them.
4. You decide you’ll handle your problems later, once they grow bigger.
You feel like things aren’t great but they aren’t terrible either. That’s why you put self-care off. You procrastinate. You figure you’ll worry about your issues later, sometime down the line. For now, you pretend they don’t exist. You keep moving forward without making a big deal out of what’s wrong.
But you can’t run from your problems forever. That system only allows your issues (and your stress) to snowball. Your demons will catch up to you eventually. When they do, you will be even more miserable than you would’ve if you simply took care of your problems when they first arose.
5. You feel like you don’t deserve to be happy.
You might have self-destructive habits. You might feel like it’s perfectly fine if you let your mental health deteriorate because you don’t deserve happiness anyway. You feel like you deserve to be miserable. You feel like you’ve earned your fair share of pain.
But that is only a lie you’ve been telling yourself. Even though you’ve made mistakes throughout your life, even though you aren’t perfect, you are still deserving of love and happiness and peace. You simply need to make the choice to start caring about your mental health because you do matter. You do count.