The word selfish can have such a negative connotation to it. From an early age we are taught not to be selfish and to share with others. My two and a half year old daughter recites to me all the time “sharing is caring, mama!” But what happens when that drive to avoid being selfish outweighs your own energetics reserves and ability to have self-care?
Put on your oxygen mask
I remember the first time I was old enough to really follow the safety instructions before a flight. I was shocked when the flight attendant told the adults to put on their own oxygen mask before the children. As a child myself at the time, I thought I should get my mask first. But now I see this safety tip as one of the best analogies for self-care. If I can’t get in oxygen to keep me going, how am I supposed to have the ability to help the people around me?
So then this idea of being selfish is flipped on its head. Consider the idea that it would be selfish to not have the energy, patience, and presence to show up fully in your life. How would that change how you prioritise your energy?
Patients often say to me “well, I know I should be doing X, Y, or Z for self-care but I don’t have the [insert one or all:] time/energy/money/motivation and my response to them is always “well, do you like doing X, Y, or Z?” Why would you want to take a yoga class in your precious little spare time when you really end up hating every moment of it?
Take action for your self-care
The question I offer back is “what could you do to truly nourish your soul?”
Take the time think about this question. I love this idea of writing down a list and posting it up so you can look at it each day. The activities on this list are absolutely the things you should be selfish about. I call these “my non-negotiables,” so that you prioritise your time. Use this to put on your own oxygen mask and you will get exponential return on your investment.
Take Action: Share what truly nourishes your soul in the comments below to inspire our community!
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Robyn is the founder of Health, Wealth, Self Collective and owner of Local Health Integrative Clinic in Vancouver, BC. She has a general naturopathic medical practice focusing around fertility, women’s health, and digestive health. Robyn is a published author, yoga teacher, mama, wife and loves to spend as much time as possible outside.