Many people give a great deal of themselves to others. Whether it’s caring for family, supporting friends or doing voluntary work, they’re all things we do primarily to help other people.

There are rewards of course, and helping others can increase self-esteem and even distract you from your own worries for a time. Helping others and giving something back to society is a good and healthy thing. But there are also costs, and they have to be balanced.

If you’re the type of person who thrives on helping others then it can be very easy to become so outwardly focused that you forget about yourself. This may even be deliberate, either as a way of escaping from yourself or because you feel you don’t deserve to focus on caring for yourself.

Either way, there comes a time when something has to give, and if you haven’t been caring for yourself properly then everyone will suffer. It sounds harsh, but not caring for yourself is actually rather selfish. Because if you don’t care for yourself first then you’ll eventually become worn away and there will come a time when you’re incapable of caring for anyone.

When you have low self-esteem and you feel you don’t deserve nice things or to care for yourself well, it can be very easy to slip into a cycle of feeling you constantly have to keep giving to others in order make yourself worthwhile as a person. But it doesn’t really work. It can’t work, because you’re already a worthwhile person. So all you’re doing is spreading yourself thinner and thinner because you’re not allowing yourself to take anything back.

You can’t keep giving if your coffers are empty, and when you become too drained and exhausted to help anyone, you just end up feeling even less worthy, your self-esteem becomes crushed and you may even sink into depression.

But if you take time for yourself too; if you allow yourself treats and nice things and take care of yourself physically and emotionally, then you’ll be able to give more and your self-esteem will genuinely improve.

So if you are the type of person who gives a lot of themselves to other people, know that the very first thing you can do for them is to take care of you. The better you take care of your self, the more of you there will be to share out to others.

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