Why You Need to Start Being More Selfish for Your Better Overall Health
As a mom myself, I had trouble with the struggle for taking care of everyone around me all the time. I put everything first before my own needs, especially my children. And the result of that was I was depleted and left empty without anything to give anyone. I like sharing my story even though it was a difficult hurdle to overcome because I want to help other moms.
I want to help you. And I want to tell you something we all need to hear: It’s OK to be selfish. Yes, it is. See, there’s a difference between being healthy selfish and simply being the kind of selfish person that no one wants to be around. Healthy selfishness means that you need to nourish and care for yourself first within good reason before nourishing and caring for others. It doesn’t mean being self-absorbed.
Think of it like a pitcher of water on the table. You’re the pitcher. And when you’re full of water, you can easily pour yourself into the awaiting glasses on the table for your family and your career obligations. But what if that pitcher is empty? Then there is nothing to give anyone. That’s why you must learn to be healthy selfish. Here are some of my tips for you so you can keep your own pitcher full without compromising the amazing woman you are.
- Consider commitments carefully before agreeing
This goes for all types of commitments and relationships. For example, you can’t be your child’s scout leader, take on a new travel-based position at work, and also host a massive fundraising gala. Stop spreading yourself too thin. Decide which things are most important and focus on them instead. You are a perfect mom, wife, coworker, and friend when you are being yourself and not trying to please everyone by engaging in every activity and opportunity around you.
- Make your own personal foundation rock solid
Houses that have cracks in the foundation aren’t structurally sound. The same goes for you and your own foundation. Build a strong sense of yourself and take care of you first so you are capable of being there for the others that love and depend on you.
- Caring for others requires us caring for ourselves
Neglecting our own health be it physical, emotional or mental, can have serious repercussions. You must learn to shift your beliefs if you think that you’re not worthy or that the needs of others are more important than yours. You’re a worthy and wonderful person. You deserve the kind of love you keep trying to give to others. Put your immediate needs first and you will find that those that are worthy of your love and giving will reciprocate and be there for you when you need them to be. Giving should be a two-way street. Don’t forget that!
- Learn to accept compliments
This one is so hard for us moms! You run into a friend you haven’t seen in a few months at the supermarket and she’s like, “Oh wow! You look fantastic!” And instead of saying “thank you,” and complimenting her hair or asking how her job is going, you say something like, “Well, I still have this flabby stomach so…” But all that does is make you feel bad and her too. Accept the compliment. It doesn’t mean you’re self-absorbed. In turn, find something complimentary to say to help lift her up too.
- Do the physical things needed to nourish yourself
Our bodies are our temples and we really need to worship them. That means getting enough sleep, nourishing it with healthy foods that make us feel good, and having time to mentally unwind from the day’s events. We compromise these things in so many ways by not going to bed when we should because we HAVE TO finish that project or there is laundry to fold. We skip meals or eat something unhealthy to save time. And all we’re doing is destroying ourselves. No time to eat? Keep fruit and nuts in your bag so you always have a healthy snack. Pack a salad for yourself or go pick one up while you’re running around. Choose yourself. By doing so, you’re making yourself better for your family and the obligations you need to fulfill.
- Never feel guilty about saying “no”
You don’t have to accept every opportunity. Learn to graciously decline. If you can’t shuttle your kids to a party after they’ve had soccer all day because you have worked late every night that week and need to just unwind with your family, simply say “no.” The world will not end when you decline things. With so many things that we must take care of, saying “no” to other things that will spread us too thin is a smart way to self-preservation.
- Don’t let anyone take your happiness away
No one should ever be in charge of your own happiness. If you find someone or something is sucking the happiness and joy out of your life, it’s time to put an end to it. Take the power back. It’s as simple as changing your reaction. Stop allowing people to infringe on your happiness. And if it’s a job that you need to work for the money and can’t get out right now, find other ways to be happy. Do something that you love in your free time, and take the steps you need toward finding a job that WILL make you happy. Life is too short to spend it feeling drained and miserable. Plus, it will be even shorter if you let the stresses from unhappiness drain you dry.
Moms are so conditioned to do everything and make everything perfect, but I’m here to tell you to stop it. Start loving yourself and putting yourself first and you’ll find not only are you happier but your husband and kids will be happier too, and suddenly it will seem like everything is falling into place.