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How Self-Care and Friendship Are Related

How Being Selective About the People You Keep Around Is an Important Form of Self-Care

Mental health and wellbeing is very close to our hearts, and while we truly aim to have an always-on approach to covering all aspects of mental health, we have chosen to shine an extra bright light on #WorldMentalHealth today, and for the rest of October.

We bring you The Big Burn Out — a content series made up of honest personal essays, expert advice and practical recommendations.

When we think of forms of self-care, ideas like meditation, pampering, and exercise usually come to mind. But one practice that's easily overlooked — which is just as important — is being selective about the people you choose to keep in your life. Whether you realize it or not, the company you surround yourself with can impact you in significant ways. Life's too short for sh*tty friends, anyway, so why not limit your social circles to a solid support system?

Remember, negativity is contagious.

Maybe it's just my INTJ personality type, which favours keeping a small number of meaningful friendships over a large group of acquaintances. But I argue that it should be about quality rather than quantity. Something that's really resonated with me over the past couple years is what a friend told me she does to keep toxic people out of her life. Every now and then, she creates a list with two columns: "People Who Invigorate Me" (left) and "People Who Deplete Me" (right). She categorises friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and those she's newly met into one of the two sides and cuts ties with anyone on the right. That might sound a bit harsh to some of you, but think about it — why waste your energy and time on people who don't add any value to your life?

Self-care is all about giving yourself the love and attention you deserve, and oftentimes your mental and physical health will benefit as a result. By extending this way of thinking into your friendships, you'll notice a difference in attitude and how you navigate your days. Remember, negativity is contagious. So fill your life with reliable friends who genuinely have your best interests at heart, cheer for your accomplishments like they're their own, and challenge you to be the best version of yourself. Say bye to the drama queen, the person who gets off on others' failures, and any other toxic "friend" you don't need in your life.

Image Source: Unsplash / ian dooley
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