We put a lot of effort into making our loved ones, friends, and even our bosses happy. There is nothing wrong with going the extra mile for other people, but it is unhealthy when we hesitate to do the same for ourselves simply because we are afraid of being called selfish.
We believe in the importance and benefits of self-love, so we’ve put together several points that explain why you shouldn’t feel guilty about prioritizing yourself.
Putting Yourself First Will Also Benefit The People You Love
There’s a reason flight attendants instruct us to put on our oxygen masks first, before helping others during a flight emergency: if we run out of oxygen, we won’t be able to help anyone. Similarly, when you are very exhausted or extremely unhappy, you are not good for the people around you.
A clinical psychologist, Tracy Thomas, Ph.D., notes that your relationships with the people you love are best when you are at your best physically, mentally, and emotionally. So don’t feel guilty about taking time off or doing things that make you happy. Your loved ones will thank you.
Resting Is A Requirement, Not A Reward
When you are totally exhausted, you reduce your productivity at work, at home, and socially. Prolonged stress can also drain you mentally and emotionally. We know that you can’t spill from an empty glass, so you need to fill it up with care.
Psychiatrist Vanessa Padilla, M.D., recommends learning to say no when overwhelmed with things to do and delegating tasks instead. Exercising, relaxing, and getting enough sleep also improves your overall health and mood.
Pushing Yourself Beyond Your Limits Can Make You Physically Sick
Stress activates the body’s fight or flight response by releasing a hormone called cortisol. Although this physiological reaction gives you the energy boost you need, high cortisol levels due to chronic stress can also cause health problems, such as weight gain, increased blood pressure, a compromised immune system, and risks for other diseases.
Taking a personal break or maintaining a work-life balance is not selfish, it is essential to your well-being.
You Transfer Your Energy To The People Around You
Dr. Thomas explains that your family and friends absorb your mood and energy. If you are always toxic, angry, or exhausted, the people around you will feel it too. In fact, one study found a correlation between parental stress and elevated cortisol levels in children.
Taking care of yourself and your health will put you in a better mood. And when you give off good vibes, you also transfer positive energy to your loved ones.
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
Dr. Padilla says that sometimes there is nothing wrong with throwing a pity party. You must recognize that all your emotions are valid, even negative ones. You must also learn to accept that not everything is under your control.
However, the key to avoiding a downward spiral is setting a deadline for feeling sad. After experiencing all these emotions, you must let them go. You have to ask yourself what would make you feel better and act accordingly.
Everyone Needs Alone Time
Experts outlined the various benefits of having alone time, including allowing your mind to redefine itself and improving the quality of your relationships. Loneliness can be achieved by physically distancing yourself from people and also disconnecting from social media.
Dr. Padilla says that you need to know when to avoid excessive use of social media and keep in mind that the selected content does not reflect real life. Add that it’s okay to spend social, virtual, or other engagements too if you feel like you need some time for yourself.
What is the best thing you have done for yourself? Do you have a self-care routine?