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3.04.2012

it's ok to be selfish.

Why do so many people struggle to put themselves first? Why does making a personal choice sometime result in a sense of guilt? Well, because social cues everywhere suggest that selfishness is ugly. And it can be. But there is a vast separation between making a choice that is best for you, and being selfish.

Life gets busy. Our commitments seem to grow at the speed of light. Schedules begin to overflow and we find ourselves having to make sacrifices. When it comes to having to make a trade-off, too many of us find it easiest to cut out our personal time. Or even worse, we end up swapping sleep for getting everything done. We have to slow down and remember that we can only be as good for everyone else, as we are for ourselves. In other words, if we are stressed and exhausted, it will absolutely affect how we are able to perform our daily tasks. Our work may suffer. Our energy levels will suffer. Our parenting may suffer. Our friendships may suffer. Our romantic relationships may suffer. Our health may suffer. If we don't practice a certain level of selfishness, it is easy to find ourselves drowning.

No person should feel guilty for scheduling in personal time. A gym session 3 times a week. A cooking class. Time to indulge in a good book. Whatever your medicine may be, make it a priority to drink it down.  And better yet, make sure the people around you (husbands, wives, friends, significant others, brothers, sisters, children, etc.) also have time for themselves. It may mean giving your significant other one night a week to have the house to herself. It may mean your husband agreeing to take care of the kids solo one night a week. It may mean telling your boss that you need to renegotiate your hours. It may mean having to trade in an excess commitment for some precious down time. And most of all, it may mean being honest with yourself; you aren't some sort of superhero that can function on little sleep and a diet of fast food between activities. Be reasonable.

Whatever you do, don't feel guilty for having to say no or admitting you are burnt out. The reason we strive so hard to maintain great relationships with our friends, lovers, and family members is so we can rely on them. We rely on them to pick up the extra slack, and be understanding of our wants and needs. Just like they rely on us to do the same. It's a give-and-take. Above all else, remember that life is too short to spend your time doing the things you don't want to be doing (within reason). Living your life to someone else's standards or expectations is just as ridiculous. At the end of the day, your priorities should include making sure you are living and happiest and healthiest life you can; and no, that's not selfish.

1 comments:

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