There are many decisions people make in their lives that are often deemed as “selfish” by those around them. All too often it’s because those people have no idea what it took to make that decision or why that decision was made.
The Guilty “no”
For instance, saying “no”. This is a HUGE one. For a very long time, I struggled with saying no to things. I took on far too much and often didn’t have a full plate, I had a whole buffet! I didn’t want to let anyone down but didn’t realize I was letting my self down. When you do too many things, you can’t give them all your best. Sure, it might get done, but could someone else have done it? Did it HAVE to be you?
This may be a time for that “selfish” decision of saying no. Be selfish and take care of yourself. Know that stretching yourself thin doesn’t do you or anyone else any good!
Not sure how to say no? This has been a hard one for me too. It’s simple. “Thanks for thinking of me, but I have as many commitments as I want to take on.” or “I appreciate you asking, but I am trying to have more time to take care of myself.”
There are people in everyone’s life that are toxic. Unfortunately, these are frequently family members. You may see them at holidays, family gatherings and reunions. But that doesn’t mean you have to invite them into your life on a regular basis. Even if it is a parent or a sibling.
Just because someone shares the same DNA as you does not give them rights to disrupt your life. If you realize that having this person cause more bad than good, it’s time to take a step back. Let me warn you. There will be resistance from other family members or even friends. Comments might be made. But, if this person had the flu and potentially could make you sick, would you go snuggle up with them? Of course not.
Look at it that way. A toxic person can make you sick in a way. It’s not selfish to decide that you have to take care of yourself by distancing yourself from someone harmful.
Doing All the Kid Things
Being a parents is the most amazing and yet most frustrating thing ever. I love having fun family traditions and taking my kids to all the places every child MUST go. It’s also ok, NOT to. There will be times when it just isn’t feasible.
Right now, everyone is headed back to school. There are tons of traditions that families take part in. A big one is “meet the teacher”. This is especially important in elementary school when you have one single teacher all year. Families ascend upon the school in masses all vying for 5 minutes of one on one time to convey how special their child is.
But not every child shows up. Many parents are unable to take time off work to attend a mosh pit of other parents and their overly excited children. There are some parents who may struggle with anxiety and this environment is too overwhelming for them.
It’s ok to miss meet the teacher. It’s ok to not go to the fair or apple orchard or amusement park. Sometimes we have to make decisions for our financial, emotional or physical health that others don’t understand.
4 Weddings and a Funeral
Don’t waste a beautiful wedding invitation on me. While I am happy to welcome you to the happiness that is marriage, I am not offended if I am not invited to a wedding. (ok, my children are a different story….) It doesn’t mean I don’t care about you. Same for funerals. There are a few people I will attend the receiving of friends. I go to show love or support for the remaining family. But funerals I don’t do.
Many people think this is just horrible. That’s fine. You do you. I know my limits and what’s best for my own sanity. Weddings and funerals are very emotionally exhausting. I choose not to put myself through that.
Taking Time for self
I think we as women think we have to be on the go and constantly doing. When we stop and take a break from it all, the guilt gets us up and moving again.
It’s it healthy and perfectly acceptable to sit down and read a book or binge on Netflix. It’s NOT healthy or acceptable to think we have to do everything for everyone else. We need time to reset and to rest from the havoc that is our world! We need to learn to delegate and release ourselves from the responsibility or EVERYTHING.
Sit back, relax and let someone else take on some of those things.
Stop the Judgments
We’ve all been guilty. We make assumptions on why someone has chosen to not attend an event. We create reasons based on what our perspective is. And those could be absolutely right. But what if it’s not? What if that person is struggling and just can’t make it through? What if they had to choose between taking time off from work for another important activity and had to sacrifice and miss this one event.
Let’s worry about our own issues and take care of ourselves. If we are so concerned about why that person didn’t take on that responsibility, ask them how YOU can help. If you wonder why they distanced themselves from someone, be a better friend/family member to them.
We’ve all heard it: Self care is not selfish. It’s true. You cannot be the best version of yourself if you don’t make decisions that take care of yourself. Don’t be a martyr. It doesn’t make you a better person. Taking care of YOU helps you be able to take care of others.
Be selfish. When it comes to preserving your sanity and your health, that’s the only way to be.