How bad do things have to get before you actually ask for help? Before you actually utter the words, I’m not OK. I’m struggling.
Maybe you have a hard time asking for help in general. It could be the smallest thing. In fact, you don’t even think about it. You’re so used to going it alone.
Yet asking for help is one of the best ways we can care for ourselves. Because the reality is that help is vital to our emotional, mental, physical, and even spiritual well-being.
And it’s a good thing that we need help. It doesn’t make us dependent or needy or clingy. It doesn’t make us any less productive or efficient or sharp or creative. It does not make you weak.
Needing help simply makes us human. It makes us part of a community. And it bolsters our meaningful bonds. Because when we ask for help, we share our vulnerability. We share what’s really going on. We invite someone else into our sacred space. And we connect on a heart, a soul level.
And we understand we’re not alone. We feel it. And that feeling is incredibly comforting and profound.
Help can come in all shapes and sizes. That is, you can ask someone to help you with making a difficult phone call, cleaning your house, or accompanying you to the grocery story, writes Anna Borges in her new book The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care. In it, Borges shares over 200 invaluable tips, tools, and stories for practicing self-care. It’s a comprehensive list from A to Z.
Of course, asking for help when you’re not used to doing so is hard.
However, as Borges notes in her book, “If you’re someone who always hesitates to ‘inconvenience’ people, asking for help doesn’t have to mean asking for work.”
Instead, you can simply ask for support. She shares these excellent ideas: “Text a friend and ask them to tell you three ways you are powerful, or why they like you. Ask for a pep talk. Ask for a favorite memory.”
This week consider where you can use some help—help that would make a big difference in how you’re feeling. Maybe you need a few words of encouragement, because lately you’ve been feeling really insecure. Maybe you need practical assistance with an errand or chore. Maybe you simply need someone to listen as you vent about something that’s frustrating you. Similarly, maybe you need someone to sit next to you in silence as you sob about your pain. Maybe, as silly as it sounds, you just need a hug.
Maybe you don’t need help from a loved one. Maybe it’s a professional. Maybe you’d like to start seeing a therapist. Maybe you’d like to work with an ADHD coach or a non-diet dietitian. Or maybe you’d like to hire a tutor, a professional organizer, or a house-cleaning service.
Either way, think about the kind of help you need. And instead of seeing it as a negative, see it for what it really is: an opportunity to meet your needs, bolster your health, and maybe even build a more meaningful connection.