3 Free and easy ways to stop neglecting yourself.
We're all busy, and we all get bogged down from time to time. We have work, school obligations, relationship obligations, and if you have kids - you already know how selfless things can feel because you want the best for your children. I mean, I'm not a parent, but I'm assuming that as a parent - you want what's best for your kids. Safe assumption. We often get so caught up in the rigamarole of the day doing things for everyone else, we get done with the day and have no time left for ourselves.
(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.
What comes to mind when you hear that word? Someone who doesn't share a plate of cookies? Someone who ate the last cookie from the tray? Someone who takes up three parking spaces at the grocery store? Most of the time - the word "SELFISH" carries a negative connotation, because we always thing "self centered" and "doesn't care about others." You know what, sometimes that is the case. Being selfish can be bad if that's ALL you think about is yourself.
But sometimes, being selfish is OKAY and even ENCOURAGED. Really.
There's a reason the safety briefing in an airplane tells you 'in the event of an emergency to secure your own oxygen oxygen mask before helping others.' Does that make you selfish in an emergency situation? Of course not. If you pass out, you're of no help to anyone around you. Why do we not practice this in real life? Secure your own happiness and well being before helping others.
We get so bogged down with pleasing other people and being as kind as we can, because we often hope that the same attitude will be reciprocated...the sad part is that oftentimes its NOT reciprocated. Then we end up silently resenting those around us who never reciprocate. If internalized, it can spiral out of control and really take a toll on your mind.
We give and give and give and give, but rarely take. Why is that? Why are we always afraid to take care of ourselves FIRST? I think it's because we never do anything for ourselves anymore, for fear of being perceived as "selfish".
Recently, I've been asking people a question that throws them for a loop. Almost everyone is taken back and not sure how to answer the question. "What's the last nice thing you did for yourself?". Seriously, do you know? Can you name the last time you did something JUST for you, and ONLY you? It doesn't have to be anything monetary, or a lavish gift, or a weekend at a spa - though that is nice if you have the time and money - but many people don't have the cash to pamper themselves with manicures, massages, and expensive vacations.
So what can you do for yourself that costs absolutely nothing? SO MANY THINGS. But here are THREE free things you can do for yourself, ANY TIME and ANY DAY.
1. Set a boundary. When was the last time you said "No" to something that you didn't really want or need to do, but only accepted because you didn't want to let someone down? Set a boundary and tell someone no - you don't have to have a made up excuse, "no" is a perfectly acceptable answer and a complete sentence. It's rewarding to stand up to yourself and not be a people pleaser. Sometimes we need to worry about ourselves FIRST.
2. Stop everything you are doing for 5 minutes. Once a day. Just 5 minutes. Find a quiet area and for just five minutes - close your eyes, and breathe. Set a timer on your phone for five minutes, put it on "do not disturb" and just relax and breathe for five minutes. This is a little mini meditation that will center you and will reap amazing mental and physical benefits. When was the last time you literally did NOTHING but breathe? I mean NOTHING. Don't sit in silence for five minutes worrying about all the things you should be doing, and be present in that moment for JUST. FIVE. MINUTES.
3. Listen to music. This one is my favorite, obviously being a radio person. But music is such an amazing escape that we often forget about. Punch up your favorite song and blast it! Sing at the top of your lungs. Or toss on a set of headphones and keep the music to yourself.
The list really could go on and on....read a book, try a new recipe, do some doodling or drawing, or even journaling are great ways you can be selfish, take care of YOURSELF and do something NICE for yourself. You deserve it. We all deserve it. Even if you do a little thing for yourself once per day, it will add up. Trust me. Little things like these will add up to big things.
So I ask you the question again - what's the last nice thing YOU did for yourself?
I hope this has motivated you to find something nice you can do just for YOU, and embrace it. BE Selfish sometimes. Its okay and its warranted.
Our lives get busy and time flies by so fast that we forget to take care of the most important person on the planet, ourselves.
Be kind to your mind...and always remember to make good life decisions,