We need to be more selfish.
I don’t mean in the typical 'selfish' way of only caring and doing things for ourselves and not others, I mean we need to care for ourselves more. Much more.
We have become anxious, irritable, and unbalanced beings with scattered and foggy minds trying to make our way through this unpredictable experience called life. We are giving to our families, to others, to our careers, to everything and everyone else but us.
We've stopped caring for ourselves and have neglected our own needs, and even when we don’t have anything left to give, we find a way to keep giving. This leaves us feeling stressed, insecure, anxious, depleted, and incompetent.
We walk around like zombies, carrying negative energy, and we project this energy upon others and, in turn, indirectly, they project their unhappy, unsatisfied, and taxed energy onto us. So we carry around more tension and heaviness upon our fragile shoulders as we embrace the burden of others and hold tight onto our own.
The stress of the world has gotten to us. It’s everywhere. It’s on our TVs and in the papers, in the hatred and fear that riddles social media. We are forever surrounded by bad news and unfortunate events, and we absorb this, unconsciously and consciously, and are left wondering why we feel so drained and depressed.
We work all day, many times at jobs we don’t love, and even if we do love our jobs/careers, we can still tire out and feel depleted. We come home just in time to prepare dinner, clean, help our children with homework, baths, etc. and send them off to bed in a whirlwind only to do it all over again the very next day. And the day after that...
We dread five days of the week and only look forward to two, but Sunday signifies the end of the weekend, so we sometimes dread that day too. Our weekends consist of housework, laundry, errands, and the little things we couldn’t fit in during our hectic week. No wonder we anticipate that glass of wine or bottle of beer; it numbs our reality and takes away the stress. It's sad that we feel like we have to escape our reality.
But if we are more giving to ourselves, and taking the time to replenish and re-balance ourselves and our energy, I truly feel, we wouldn’t feel this way.
When was the last time you took time for yourself, took a break aside from a ten-minute coffee break on the couch while surrounded by your screaming children demanding your attention?
Book time with yourself, whether it's a hot bath, a solo coffee date, a lunch date with friends, reading a book, going for a walk in nature, a massage, or manicure. Anything that helps yourself reconnect with you brings peace and joy.
It’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to do something solely for the benefit of you, for your health, and your well-being. It’s okay to take time to refill your glass, to replenish your soul and re-balance your energy. It’s okay because it makes you okay. It makes you good again.
Don't be afraid to say to say no to the things you don't want to do. We say yes to doing things we don't want to do nor have time for because we worry about hurting someone's feelings and letting them down. We disregard our own feelings simply to satisfy another. Meanwhile, we're left feeling resentful and angry because we feel powerless. If you don't want to do something, give yourself permission to say no. We tell our children no all the time. Often times after you say no, they move on. The more you say no, the more confident you'll feel.
Being 'selfish' will bring you healing, clarity, and balance, and it restores your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health; if these aren’t in balance, it can make other aspects of your life feel off balance and chaotic.
I encourage your to practice the 'art of being selfish' in a self-caring way so you can give to others in the way you want to.
In order to give your best to others, you must give to yourself first.
Vanessa Marie Dewsbury