Self-care-based decisions are made by asking yourself if you really need it. This may sound straightforward, but it can be difficult, especially if self-care is equated with selfishness.
Psychpedia Self Care Article
There seems to be a lot of confusion around the distinction between healthy self-care, and selfishness. Is it selflessness or generosity? Or is it the fastest way for you to feel overwhelmed, physically ill and resentful.
Is healthy self-care possible if you are selfish?
How can you take better care of yourself and be more supportive, loving, and helpful to others? Healthy self-care is about setting boundaries, getting enough rest, eating healthy food and not abusing substances. It also means taking time to just be and examining what energizes and depletes your energy. These behaviors will allow you to have the emotional and physical stamina necessary to be more helpful to others and yourself. Last but not the least, you won’t give up on yourself and feel resentful or overwhelmed if you give.
Psychpedia Self-Love Article
Overwhelmed resentment, especially when it’s left to fester, often results in physical issues. Healthy self-care can be a proactive life strategy. It is a holistic approach to taking care of yourself so you can function at a higher level and feel more grounded and nourished.
What is selfishness?
Is it putting yourself first? If so, that’s not what I mean. Healthy self-care means setting boundaries, not giving up, and being aware of what is best for you and what is draining you. They aren’t selfish and can help you and everyone else. They are an example to others of how it is possible to live a balanced and kind life.
Psychpedia Selfishness Article
In order to shift from over-giving towards healthy self-care, it is important to be aware of what has been happening and what you want to do differently. It is helpful to ask yourself these questions at different times throughout the day or when journaling.
- Is this really what I want?
- How is what I’m doing right now serving me?
- This action will help me become the person that I want to be.
- Are I over-committing myself to this?
- Can I accept the fact that I cannot say no?
- Do I have enough time to pamper myself?
- Is my life balanced or out of control? If it’s out of kilter is there even one small thing I can do to help me feel calmer and more in control?
- When I look back 10 years from now, what will I think of how I’m currently living?
- Are my daily actions and my activities in line with my deepest values?
- What does it tell you about my relationship to myself, if my behaviors are all about giving me away?
You may want to start with one question, as it’s quite a lot of self-inquiry at one time. These are just suggestions.
Your own body, mind, and spirit are always telling you what’s right for you. The problem is acting on that knowledge, especially if you call it selfishness.
It’s not a competition between what’s good for you and what’s good for the people in your life. As hard as it may be to believe, when you take really good care of yourself it will always redound to other people’s benefit.
All day long you have opportunities to decide what you’re going to do. If you’re in the habit of taking good care of yourself your decisions will be filtered through that lens. If you’re in the habit of over-giving your decisions will be filtered through that lens. Only you know what is best for your heart, mind and body. It’s never too late to switch gears. It’s never too late to patiently, gently, and lovingly take care of your own sweet self.
Psychpedia Self Confidence Article
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Copyright Nicole S. Urdang
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