You deserve the same outpouring of time, love and energy that you offer others as self-care is not selfish
We have been made to believe and tuned into the fact that self-care is a selfish act and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Self-care is not selfish! I think about it like this: self-care is the rejuvenation of your magical presence; it is the act of expanding your circle so you can ultimately radiate more than trying to attract everything towards you.
Self-care is showing up for yourself as you do for others, self-care is honoring the boundaries you’ve set for yourself, Self-care is releasing the habit of overextending in ways that are unhealthy and draining.
There is evidence of all these around us; for example anytime we get on a plane, we are told to get the oxygen mask in an emergency to ourselves before helping other people.
In nature we see it; mother birds have to keep themselves well because if they are exhausted no one is going to bring their babies juicy worms. Taking care of herself is a huge part of taking care of her offspring and so it is with us.
To soar we need to be fit and feed, stretch and well-rested. We need to relieve ourselves from mental stress, too many commitments to others, and unnecessary worry, it serves nobody. We need to take care of ourselves, mind body and soul; filling ourselves up with goodness so we could give goodness back.
We have to dare to mother ourselves, to care for ourselves, to validate our feelings and emotions, to pay attention to our needs and honor them, to give ourselves permission to be imperfect, to offer support and care to ourselves during pain, to notice that we are doing so well. We have to dare to delight in small moments of joy with ourselves, to be tender with our heart, to allow ourselves set and maintain boundaries, to affirm our existence as human beings, and to remind ourselves of our worth, over and over.
Self-care is establishing a healthy relationship with yourself this could be in the form of;
- Living a balanced life.
- Being intentional about your actions and words.
- Being attuned to who you are.
- Responding rather than reacting.
- Taking responsibility for the things you do and say.
- Being proactive about your health.
- Setting boundaries.
- Being honest with yourself.
- Trusting yourself.
- Keeping promises to yourself.
- Forgiving yourself.
- Validating your experience….The list is huge no matter how small.
You have to choose the direction you allow your vibration to go to. The lower you vibrate, the more the path to more lower vibrations appear, the higher you vibrate the more the path to higher vibrations appear. Re-route yourself by doing more of what makes you feel whole and alive again.
If you haven’t been doing this, you are not alone; I was in this boat for a very long time and I just made the necessary transfer to a better cruise. I want you to know that caring and loving yourself is the best act of survival, your energy is precious. The more time you spend on things that don’t make you free, the more drained you will become.
The more time you spend time on things that ignite your spirit the more you’ll shine; it’s so simple. Taking care of ourselves may be the only thing we need to do but it’s oftentimes the last thing we do.
There are certain self-care routines we ought to indulge in such as eating well, drinking lots of water, meditating, journaling, getting exercising, getting a decent amount of sleep, resting and taking an amount of rest during the chase of survival (our busy day), spending time in good company, making time to laugh, giving ourselves permission to put ourselves first, creating space for beauty, taking an active interest in our health before and after sickness.
The truth is that we care for others more than we ought to for ourselves this is often because there is a leak of doubt skimming through our focal center that giving too much of ourselves, loving ourselves, caring for ourselves connotes selfishness.
We have been conditioned to believe that caring for others is an essential of living but self-care is regarded as being selfish. The truth about self-care is the opposite of what we have been raised to believe.
It is no news to put forth that we find ourselves in situations where we want to take care of ourselves but there is an overwhelming feeling of guilt, shame or bias. I mean, consistently, you looked out for others, allowed their opinions dictate your actions and gave them a big space in your life but when it was time to do the same to yourself, you find yourself having feelings of confusion, withdrawn, and dependency on the thoughts and validation of these people.
The idea of placing yourself first in certain situations, rarely crosses your mind? It is amazing how our minds work. Simply thinking about giving ourselves attention and care can cause us to start having feelings of uneasiness emanating from the thoughts of being selfish. This is the wrong mindset and should be corrected. I do hope that by the end of this piece, you would see the reasons why self-care is not selfish.
Self-care is an act of love and care towards oneself. You would only practice the act of self-care if you consider yourself important. And as harmless as this seems, many persons, at several times, have confused self-care with being selfish.
Every time we take care of ourselves, we renew our capacity for self-restoration and the more we do it, the easier it becomes and it gives us the energy to grow and fly. So remember, nurturing yourself is vital for survival and positive energy. It is the combination of physical and mental strength that allows you to soak into the experience of your life.
So Let Me Know, Are You Really Being Selfish When You Care For Yourself?
To start with, there is a clear-cut difference between self-care and selfishness. When you care for yourself, you are not being selfish; being selfish means that you show concern only for yourself and not for the needs or feelings of other people. This is different from considering yourself important enough to deserve YOUR attention, care, and love.
At this point, I am sure you are wondering: why does self-care make one feel selfish? Well, when you prioritize your feelings, emotions, and needs at all times, there is a huge tendency to be easily misunderstood. Making time for yourself means taking time from others.
Although you can care for yourself while caring for others, one is usually placed above the other. And when you reduce the attention/care/time that you give out to your friends, work or family to care for yourself, they could misinterpret your action as a sign that you do not regard them and this might lead to you being overwhelmed by a feeling of guilt.
This is why some persons hold the belief that our concerns about what people think, is usually the root of the selfish feeling we get; in other words, sometimes, it is how we think our actions -regardless of how beneficial they might be to us- would be perceived by others, that fuels the feeling of being selfish. You must realize that at some point, you just have to place yourself first!
Why Are People Afraid Of Being Seen As “Selfish”?
Self-care and selfishness are two different concepts but even if they mean the same thing, it should not be an issue. The reason this seems like a big deal to us is because of the faux self-image that we perceive others to have of us. We seem to care more about the identity we have to preserve, than our private and personal needs.
Many of us are afraid of being our true selves because we do not want to erase the faux image we have painted. We are afraid of being seen as:
- The introvert who loves being alone at all times and isn’t so much into friendships.
- The extrovert who is always lively and playful.
- The bold fellow who prioritizes self-care and appreciation.
- The employee who dauntlessly expresses his reservations not minding whose Ox is gored.
- The blunt person who says no when uncomfortable even to his best friend.
And in the process, we jeopardize our mental and physical health by;
- Transgressing our boundaries.
- Allowing others to transgress our boundaries.
- Acting unauthentically.
- Putting other’s needs before our own.
- Taking responsibility for things we shouldn’t.
- Staying in unhealthy relationships.
- Being unwilling to forgive ourselves.
- Compromising our beliefs and values.
- Saying ‘yes’ when we want to say ‘no’.
Placing yourself first makes you look bad to others and you are tagged as a “selfish” person which makes you feel less important. And so, to avoid this, you prioritize the needs of other persons more than yours and value them more than yourself.
What you do not know is, by doing this, you are allowing them to dictate how you view yourself. Your fear of being seen as “selfish” is depleting your consciousness about self-care. Self-care is not selfish.
Now let’s look at:
10 Reasons Why Self-Care Is Not Selfish
1. Self-Care Is Essential
This should be more relatable for introverts. Self-care is not just about prioritizing yourself, it is also about maintaining your sanity and for some persons, it might even be a means of survival.
You are in control of your world, and if you feel like being alone to spend and some “me” time to take care of yourself then, so be it. After all, it is YOUR time. Some people only get to experience sanity when they are alone.
Self-care is just a perfect way of creating that alone time. Self-care is not selfish; you own your life and if you think that having time to yourself or taking yourself out is essential, then go for it. If anyone is unhappy with your decision to go for what’s best for you, then I think they are selfish and you should cut them off.
2. Caring For Yourself And Being Selfish Are Of Different Intentions
The intentions behind self-care and selfishness are different. Self-care stems from a place of love while selfishness stems from fear. Self-care is being grateful for the beautiful things in your life and striving to maintain them.
For self-care, you do the necessary out of love but for selfishness, you do more than necessary out of a place of fear.
Selfishness stems from the fear that you do not have enough time and love to go around. You are scared that the people in your life might take the resources that belong to you and your way of protecting these resources is selfishness.
3. “Selfish” Is Just A Perception
Nowhere in the world has there been a listing of the criteria for selfishness. Self-care is caring for oneself and showing appreciation for being you. However, this simple act becomes selfish when someone judges it.
How do you measure selfishness? What is the right amount of time to spend with your loved ones to erase the notion that you are selfish? Selfishness is just a label placed by humans and it is based on differences in perception.
What I view as selfish, might not be what you view as selfish. Certain self-care activities might be viewed as selfish acts by some persons while others might view them as the exact opposite. It is all based on judgment.
4. Self-Care Is Empowering, Selfishness Is Not
Since you now have the ability to take your stand on certain issues without fear or favor from anyone, you will end up building strength from the inside. With the consciousness of self-care, you will be able to wade off manipulators by saying no when you want to.
Self-care is knowing what you are worth and sticking to it, irrespective of what you stand to lose. If you think you are deserving of something, then stick by it. And if you think not, then reject it.
5. It’s One Of The Many Routes To A Better Physical Health
Unlike selfishness which stems from a feeling of fear and affects your mental and physical health, self-care promotes the wellness of the mind and in general physical health.
When you care about yourself you will place a priority on doing exercises, having a good diet plan and having a good sleep.
6. Self-Care Helps You Find Your Purpose
You might be wondering what your purpose is, you are not alone! There are many persons like you who do not know what their purpose is. I know and understands how this feel, you can read the complete steps I took here to identify my mission, purpose, my “why” and value on earth.
And self-care was a major essential that enabled me to unveil my purpose. Self-care involves you trusting yourself and following your instincts.
Truly, it might be scary but you really did not know any other way of discovering your purpose other than building trust between you and your inner self and this can only be gotten when you care about your self, as against when you are selfish.
7. Self-Care Ensures Moderation In Dealing With People, Selfishness Does Not
With self-care, you are sure to set boundaries regarding how you people treat you and how you treat people.
These boundaries help you conserve your energy so you don’t expend all your energy taking care of everyone, except yourself. This is in contrast with the idea of selfishness. Selfishness promotes an “only me” attitude – a lifestyle that has no regard for other persons.
8. Self-Care Is Motivating, Selfishness Grooms Insecurity
Once you get a hang of caring about yourself and placing your needs and self ahead, you will find yourself being motivated to go for any goal you wish to go for. On the flip side, selfishness stems from fear which grows into insecurity.
Once you have learned the secret to prioritizing yourself and not being scared of being seen as selfish, you can internally build the drive to achieve any goal you set your mind to achieve.
9. Self-Care Is A Good Reminder That You Are Worthy
Whatever your goals might be, you are worthy of them. Caring for yourself without having any feeling of shame is a reminder that you are deserving of those goals. It is not selfish to do what’s best for you. After all, you are all you’ve got.
10. Self-Care Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Care About Others
Caring for yourself does not translate to not caring for others. When you make decisions without putting the needs of other persons into consideration, that’s selfishness, not self-care. Self-care is acknowledging the fact that other persons are relevant yet still caring genuinely about yourself.
Self-care is not selfish, rather, it is selfish not to self-care because by caring for yourself, you are caring for everyone. You are not selfish for wanting the best for yourself. You deserve the best and you should never allow anyone to make you feel otherwise.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to make a decision, do make a decision that would favor you, it is not selfishness to know your WORTH. I sincerely hope that by now, you are convinced that self-care is not selfish, and caring for yourself is a necessity for survival.
You can read a detailed article on ideas and self-care routines you can indulge in to strengthen your journey on self-care.
Self-Care Quotes To Take Care Of Yourself And Your Body
And before you go, here is some light to guide you through your journey of self-love and self-care as you remember self-care is not selfish
”It is not your job to be everything to everyone”
”Self-care is not selfish, it is the only way you can only give the world your best”
“May I love myself and love myself and love myself in all my entirely”
“Self-love is a deeply profound acceptance of our wholeness, self-love is the total acceptance that we are all equal, self-love is the moment we are able to step back into our true sleeves. Self-love is when we allow the love within to become our source of power. Self-love is the welcome home, self-love is a celebration, self-love is remembering the journey does not seek perfection
Self-love is setting boundaries and holding ourselves accountable, self-love is opening up to self-forgiveness. Self-love is holding space for healing, care, self-love is a daily transformation and the moment to moment growth.”
“Always advocate for your soul. Tend to your soul, listen to your soul. Mother your soul and see your soul. Practice honoring yourself and your body.”
“In the journey of love- walk barefoot between sunflowers and bathe in the splendor of your own light.”
“I am a work of art, a portrait of my soul, I am a divine light written in flesh.”
“You can love people dearly and still require that they honor your boundaries.”
Note to self
“Letting go has given you so many gifts-including the strength to choose and prioritize your well-being”
Note to self
“Stop shrinking for the comfort of others”- Alex Elle
“The more you settle, the more you shrink, resist the urge to compromise your joy for the comfort of what you think others want, need and expect from you.”
“You deserve the same outpouring of time, love and energy that you offer others.”
“Every ounce of me, every cell, every breath, in each and every phase, take a glance at my beauty, this vessel is a wonderland.”- Siphokazi
“Even now, I have to start accepting that; how I love myself is in fact enough and honoring this journey of uncovering new and pleasurable ways to embody this love.”
“My body always exists as enough in this skin and in every curve, behold the fullness of the shape my vessel holds.”
“Release the limitations, release old belief systems you’ve internalized exposing yourself to the opinions of others. Allow your body to do exactly what it came here to do. Always change and forever transform.”
“I am fire and water, range and destruction, compassion and empathy. I am worth my own exploration and yearning.”
“Dear self everything about me is starting to feel enough.”
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Maya Angelou
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary”
– Mandy Hale
“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.”
“Put yourself at the top of your to-do list every single day and the rest will fall into place.”
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Beautifully put! Brava! I have a problem with self-care, because my entire existence has been for the benefit of others and not myself unfortunately and now in my 30’s it becomes more and more apparent that I am not living an authentic life. All my decisions, everything I do in life is based on the needs of others. I feel alone, neglected and tormented, but it has been my own doing. I am however trying to change it, but there is a fear looming overhead that if I do, some important people in my life will not like it and I may lose them, but do I lose myself instead?