Why Taking Care of Yourself is Not Selfish

When we sacrifice ourselves to please others, be it saying yes when we mean no, or listening to your friend rant when you don’t have the mental energy to really be there, we do a disservice to ourselves. Often we see these self sacrificing behaviors as admirable, when we put another’s needs before ours.

Its deep within Western cultural norms to just push through, hustle and do everything we possibly can. Being tired is a badge of honor. But these norms aren’t typically centered around our mental well being, they are more around money, achievement and capitalistic expectations.

Sometimes we need to put others needs first. Stuff comes up, we’re human. We help each other out. But when its a regular ocurrance, its an invitation to step back and take a look under the hood. It must be exhausting helping others all the time. When was the last time you took some space for you? Is there something calling for you that feels nurturing?

Maybe its sitting outside under that willow tree with a good book, or noticing how the warm water feels running over your hands as you do the dishes. Maybe its sitting with your dog, watching the clouds go by.

When we honor ourselves by respecting what we need, we are better able to show up for others in our lives.

If there is an imbalance in the amount of output or input, the system can go awry. We get exhausted, irritable, cynical, sad, angry, you name it. And being those things isn’t helping anyone out.

When we can practice noticing what it is that we need from moment to moment, we are better able to show up for ourselves and others when it matters. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

So what calls to you, right now. Sure, you may be in an office, or at home, on your phone, wherever you are, what is the first thing that comes to mind that you feel you need? Ask for it, make space for it, make it a priority. You’re worth it.


This blog and website are not a substitute for therapy or therapeutic intervention. Please see a therapist or mental health professional for personalized therapy.

Image from https://ourfoodstories.com/2018/06/elderflower-syrup.html/

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