We may hear the concept of "self-care" in our yoga, aromatherapy, or meditation class. Maybe you mostly feel selfish when you care for yourself. Actually, self-care involves any kind of activity that we do to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, or emotionally. What it means is that self-care is a way to have a more balanced life as well. Moreover, self-care is not only about taking care of our needs but also being aware of this is the only way to take care of others as well.
Why do we feel selfish sometimes?
Saying ‘no’ to something makes us feel guilty most of the time. Saying no to an event when you do not want to or fighting with the idea of how others will think about us when we say ‘no’ may also make us feel guilty. The reason we say ‘no’ to something may not seem like a good enough of a reason and we may be labeled as ‘selfish’ as well. On the other hand, being selfish often has a negative connotation, like there is no one around and we only care about ourselves rather than humankind. However, what about the unhappiness we have when we say ‘yes’ to something that we do not want to, just not to feel selfish? Does it feel normal at the end of the day when you lay down in your bed and feel physically or emotionally worn out, but satisfied to have pleased others around you?
If we say ‘no’ to any request and then we feel more energized and happy at the end and also a little bit selfish, then let's just say self-care is selfish, and that’s definitely ok.
If you do not feel ok and you need to rest, it is ok to be selfish to take care of yourself. Being emotionally, mentally, or physically well relies on self-care. Once you understand how to balance your well-being, then sometimes you have the right to be selfish to care for yourself. For this reason, although saying ‘no’ spontaneously to something can be self-care, it is much more than that. Here are some ideas that help in setting ourselves up to care for ourselves:
Self-care is an attitude
Self-care needs to be an active plan. What this means is that you need to be brave and put yourself first, saying ‘no’ when something does not suit you. This may be an event at the nightclub or a friend that drains your energy. Moreover, you need to look forward to any kind of activity that will boost your mood regularly. This may be an exercise or a meditation class, or sometimes a quick walk in nature. You need to actively search for how to take better care of yourself.
Asking for help is self-care
Sometimes you may feel exhausted and not have the time or desire to do anything to balance yourself. When this occurs, asking for help is also another critical way to take care of yourself. It can be any kind of help in your working environment or help at home or you may ask a friend to take your child to school. Asking for help may feel like a ‘weakness’. Yet this is a great way to balance your well-being in tough situations.
Creating time for joy
Finding a hobby or any kind of activity that makes you feel more relaxed, joyful, and happy maybe like a pill that you should take every day for your self-care. Sometimes reading a book for a while or cooking, knitting, or drinking a glass of wine can be a good choice to create some joy.
Creating a ‘no’ list
To balance your well-being, creating a ‘no’ list also can be a good choice. Reducing screen time, not drinking coffee in the morning, or not answering your phone after work hours is also self-care. When you define the things that will make you feel better in daily life, this ‘no’ list starts to be better defined as well.
Even though saying ‘no’ to people mostly feels selfish, being selfish to set our boundaries is the best way to take of yourself which is more than ok. In addition, self-care is not only about being mentally or emotionally, or physically ok, but also recognizing our needs and having an active plan to meet them. Let's start to define our ‘needs’ and be selfish again.