It seems like there has been a common theme lately on Instagram about people taking care of themselves and promoting self care (which I think is FABULOUS and I am a strong believer in self-care!), but it reminded me of a blog I previously wrote about what I call a “healthy selfishness.” Although the blog I wrote was a few years ago, it is still relevant, so I wanted to share part of it with you. I also often get interviewed about different health topics and I tend to mention this “healthy selfishness” a lot. Here is an article, from March, that actually quotes some of what I have below http://www.thelist.com/45621/reasons-selfish/ . Let me know what you think and please share your thoughts and comments below.
So, what is a Healthy Selfishness?
When it comes to our health and wellbeing we have to be a little selfish. Everyone struggles with the word “selfish” as it has a negative connotation, but when it comes to our health it is necessary. We all deserve to do things in life that make us feel better and that promote physical and emotional health, but many of us feel guilty for participating in those things, but we have needs and are entitled to fulfill them without feeling guilty (although it is not easy). This is a “healthy selfishness;” knowing what you need to do (within reason) and allowing yourself to achieve your goals. If you think about everything we do for survival, such as sleeping and eating, those are examples of behaviors associated with a “healthy selfishness”. We need to participate in these behaviors in order to survive. We also need to participate in other behaviors to be healthy, such as taking time out of our day for us, for “me time,” and to relax or de-stress. For some that may be going on a run or going to the gym, for others that may mean a quiet and relaxing bath. Whatever it is, it is needed to allow you to de-stress, refocus and be able to be productive and accomplish what you need to accomplish. Without some of these behaviors and acts of “healthy selfishness” we will eventually burn out and not be productive, in any aspect of our life, if that be personal or professional. We need to monitor ourselves and check in with ourselves to ask what we need to function to the best that we can. Being emotionally and physically healthy is needed to do that, and in order to accomplish physical and emotional health we need to take care of ourselves and have this sense of “healthy selfishness.” So, the next time you know you need to go to the gym, or take a walk, or just need an extra hour of sleep, try not to feel guilty about it. Your body and your mind is telling you something, so accept it, own it, and do it! Keep in mind that not everyone will understand this “healthy selfishness,” so it is your job to ask for their support. Explain to them that this is what you need. Hopefully they will support your health efforts and jump on the bandwagon to also put their health first!
To YOU, taking care of YOU, and to YOUR health!