Are You Being Selfish if You Take Care of You?


christmas-meditatorAre you taking care of you?

Often women are reluctant to make caring for themselves a priority. This is particularly true during the holidays.

You may feel like there is just too much to do.

All the shopping, decorating, socializing, cooking, sending out holiday cards—the list goes on and on. Plus, you may be focused on creating a magical holiday experience for your kids and family.

You may feel that taking care of you is being selfish.

The Truth is that you have to take care of yourself first to have the stamina and energy to take care of others.

Ask yourself, “Are you the best partner, mom, daughter, friend you can be if you’re over-tired? How much harder is it to get everything on your to-do list done if you don’t feel physically well?”

A common response to the idea of establishing a routine of self-care that includes getting enough sleep, exercise, healthy foods, and quiet time for self-reflection or meditation is, “I don’t have time to do those things.”

The Truth is you don’t have time NOT to do them.

Making your self-care your highest priority—even if it’s only 15 minutes a day—will give you extra energy and vitality that will enable you to be the partner, mom, daughter, and friend you want to be.

And it helps you “do” more in the time you do have.

If you only have 10 to 15 minutes a day to take care of you, what should be highest priority?

If you can do just one thing, figure out how to move your body in some wayeven if it’s just 10 minutes a day.

Exercise is powerful medicine. The list of its benefits is long and incredible. Study after study shows that exercise plays an important role in promoting sound physical and mental-health, as well as emotional well-being  If the effects of exercise could be put in a pill, everyone would want to take it.

This doesn’t have to be a long, full-blown workout. Even going for a walk around the block makes a difference and provides stress relief. It could even be vigorous vacuuming! Get creative and count everything you do.

Other simple but powerful things you can do are:

  • Take 3 deep breaths. It sounds simple, but you’ll be amazed at the shift in energy it provides. And you can do this anytime, anywhere.
  • Meditate or sit quietly or take a bubble bath for 5 to 15 minutes. Quieting your mind for just a few minutes boosts physical energy, and also makes solutions easier to see.
  • Focus on appreciating not only the blessings in your life—but also of the people in your life. This is like blazing a mental trail for how you want your life and relationships to be.
  • Take a nap! Even 10 minutes can rev up your energy and help quiet the mental strain for the rest of the day.
  • Be picky about the treats you eat. Is it really calorie-worthy? Choose healthier foods or smaller portions—most of the time—and then really enjoy the treat you do eat.

These small actions boost your wellness and well-being—and your ability to be there for the people you love. 

Establish a simple and doable routine of self-care. Actually schedule it in your calendar and do your best to work everything else around it.

Make taking care of yourself your highest priority so you have the energy and vitality to take care of others.

Together we can do it!

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16 thoughts on “Are You Being Selfish if You Take Care of You?

  1. Ha! This is so timely for me!! 🙂

    I have made a real shift, doing my FIRST YOGA CLASS IN 13 YEARS yesterday! Man, it told me for sure where my body is at.

    But : I took time for me.

  2. Thanks for this post 🙂 It’s easier (sometimes) to give yourself away to the needy so that you can look like the good gal (or guy) instead of addressing your own needs. Not that giving to the needy isn’t important; just saying a lot of people use it as an excuse and think that if other people see them as a “good person” they’ll finally feel good themselves.

    • This is absolutely true! The problem comes in that when you are not taking care of yourself, you drain the energy that you have to give to others. So then you wind up yelling at your kids, or being frustrated at your spouse for not doing more or making you feel unappreciated, and then you use those less than perfect behaviors to beat yourself up, which makes you feel like you have to give more to be a good person, which is more exhausting, and the negative spiral continues. By being “selfish” enough to make your self-care a priority, you actually show up more consistently as the “good” person you really want to be, which boosts your confidence, and makes taking care of yourself more of a priority, which then creates a positive spiral. This is why it is not truly selfish at all. Thanks for sharing! Appreciate you!

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  4. Pingback: selfishness vs. self-care « Lynn Daue

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