As a confirmed people pleaser, Iíve spent a lot of time worrying about other peopleís happiness. Iíd force myself to attend events or performs tasks that I didnít want to do just because I knew it would make someone else happy. However, after a few major life changes, I gained a new perspective and realized that selfishness is not always a bad thing.
You canít properly take care of others until you've taken care of yourself. Thatís exactly why the airline steward tells you to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting your traveling companion.
Hereís a list of the top five selfish acts (or self-love acts as I prefer to call them) that Iíve embraced:
1.Find time for activities that I enjoy: I recently have taken up horseback riding lessons again because I find that riding does something for me that nothing else can do. It calms and strengthens me at the same time. Taking just 15-20 minutes out of each day to meditate or read a book also helps clear my head after a long day at work.
2. Saying NO, just NO: I used to believe that I had to have an excuse for telling someone that I couldn't attend an event or take on a project for them. I always had a few that they would get upset or cut my out of their life. But after noticing my husband ďjust say noĒ and receive a positive response, I've taken this habit on and the freedom that comes with it is amazing.
3.Balancing me time & social time: In conjunction with just saying ďNOĒ, not completely booking myself out with other peopleís activities has allowed me to spend quality time with myself. I also find that when I have a little bit of downtime to decompress and unwind, I have more to give to my friends and family when I am with them.
4.Providing forgiveness to myself: I used to be quite hard on myself when I made a mistake or forgot something important (ie a friendís childís birthday). But when I notice that feeling of guilt coming on, I take a step back and try to get some perspective. No one is perfect and more often than not, your friends and family the most accepting and forgiving. If they arenít, then maybe you should reevaluate your relationship. Iíve found that most people respond understandingly when I say, ďIím so sorry, I just forgot.Ē
5. Finding beauty in my body rather than praise from outside sources: This is the hardest one for me. I always sought acceptance from my friends and family, waiting for them to compliment me on my figure or new haircut. But now I try to be thankful for what my body does for me, not for anyone else. Like how hard it works when I go for an extra-long run.
I hope these self-love acts help you as much as they have helped me, or least inspire you to find your own self-love acts to give yourself what you truly deserve.