Self-care Isn't Selfish - But How Much am I Allowed to be Selfish for My Health?
Self-care isn’t selfish. Nor is self-love. This is a message that people have been saying to each over the past few years via the internet and there could not be a more important message to spread. It seems to be a lesson we miss often, forgetting to take care of our own bodies and minds. I’m talking in general here; there will always be situations where people are varying degrees of selfish, and there is a difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself. Overall, I believe humans to be a very giving and caring species. I would definitely be one of those people when Thanos or another villain comes to destroy human life claiming that, “You can’t destroy us! Our ability to love is more powerful than you’ll ever be!” It’s cheesy, but true. Life can bring out some unpleasant situations that can turn us on a dime, but underneath it all, love is what is there.
Having to work a full-time job, friends and family getting older, moving away, health problems, the government going to sh*t, and so much more take a toll on our psyche. When things get to be too much or too stressful, our nature is to forget about doing some of the most basic things. This can happen by just being too busy or get worse by experiencing severe Depression. Depression certainly makes people feel no need to continue living a full healthy life. Seeing friends go through major depressive episodes and having experienced them myself, small things are left out. Not eating, forgetting to brush teeth or shower, and over sleeping are just a few examples. These are experiences that can happen in general, everyone will have something specific they do or don’t do when experiencing depression.
To those that have never experienced such things or think that we all “forget to brush our teeth now and then,” this is not a “now and then” kind of situation. This is not doing such things for weeks, months even, or even multiple different times over years. And people everywhere and every age can go through this. Phrases such as, "take care of yourself" and "self-care isn't selfish" are a simple way to express to another person that you care about them. It's a gentle reminder that there are people out there that care about you. As much as they will help you and care for you, they want you to be able to feel good and be happy and take care of what you need.
It can be hard to focus on yourself. Knowing all your attention is on one person. We are taught to care for others, make sure everyone else is comfortable, happy, and is doing okay. Especially as women, we are taught to always please as many people as we can. The reminder that self-care isn’t selfish is there to let us know we are just as important as everyone else. We are important to those that are important to us. Self-care has become a revolution. It's incredible. The act of reminding each other to remember to take care of yourself is radical. By allowing people to be a little selfish is an act of compassion for a society that tells us to not be selfish. With how difficult everything is right now; it is extremely important to take just a little extra time to do whatever you need to do to feel happy and healthy.
I write this to remind myself as much as others. I write this because I have been feeling very selfish recently and I am struggling with how much I should indulge my ego and let me feel good about myself. I have been very aware of how much I’ve been focusing on myself. When with friends I always try to be aware not to talk about myself too much. Asking them questions and focusing on their lives is what I want to do because I know I can often be a little self-centered. Even writing this, I’m aware of how much I’m saying “I.”
Everyone likes to talk about themselves. If they say they don’t, they are LYING. Because you must ask them WHY they don’t like to talk about themselves and then that leads them to having to explain for whatever reason and therefore… they talk about themselves. But newsflash: There is no shame in talking about yourself! It can become annoying to do it too much, but I promise you, you are not doing it too much. This has been on my mind so much recently because I feel like I am doing better. Some days are still hard. Some situations are still very difficult to be in. But I have begun to feel more confident in myself recently. I try to be aware to not talk about myself too much, but I have always liked attention and with growing confidence, I'm finding its fine to talk about myself when I want to! Possibly for the first time ever I actually believe it when I tell myself how talented I am and how pretty I am. As someone who has struggled with her appearance her entire life, and how that appearance in regards to my talent was all too often judged, this is a brand-new feeling for me.
I am trying to breathe into this newfound confidence and change of thought. I want to respect it and help me continue on the path to healing, but I’ve been struggling with where that line is – when does it become too much? A whole blog all about myself and my life probably isn’t helping, but I have my reasons for this you can read in other posts! And I'm pretty sure the only people who read this are my sister (who I have made my unofficial editor and maybe my friend Madison lol) #subscribeyall. As an artist, I’m getting over that fear of self-promotion and standing up for things I believe in. I want to unapologetically be me. I want to embrace my true self because for too long I’ve kept her to myself. I’ve hidden away, only showing little sparks hear and there. I don’t want to do that anymore. I am starting to finally like myself. This is so new to me that I feel guilty. I feel guilty for not learning it sooner. I feel guilty for preaching a message for years that I continue to struggle with. I don’t want anyone to feel unhappy with themselves, and I don’t want others to hate me for finally being happy with myself.
I am finally focusing on myself and yet I am worried about what other people will think. How odd, that wanting to be a better me leads me back to if others think I’m a better me.
I think I’m going to have to continue to be a little more selfish to continue healing. I’m going to have to continue to learn that it only matters what those important to me think, not everyone else’s opinions. I hope though, for those close to me, that you will keep me in check. A simple sentence like, “I’m happy you are working on yourself, but I’m just wanting to let you know you are being a little selfish right now. I say that with love.”
Let’s not forget about others, but also remember how important we are.
You are important to me.
Self-care isn’t selfish.
Take care of yourself.