Often when we think of the word selfish it has negative connotations – we’ve been brought up by society to think being selfish is shameful. My whole life I’ve always lived for others or put others happiness/needs before mine whether it be in a work setting i.e. taking on extra tasks or going the extra mile for patients or generally in life with friends or family – and that’s okay, sometimes. But what I’ve learnt especially over the past year is that it’s okay to be selfish too, sometimes.
Last year my whole life literally got turned upside down. Everything that I felt was important to me got taken away from me. How I envisaged my future had totally gone to **** and frankly I did not know how to cope. I didn’t know how to look after myself and since then have definitely had to learn. I knew I had to give myself permission be selfish and give to myself for once in order to heal.
It’s been a difficult process and I’ve made many mistakes/hurt a few people who I care about dearly and yes could have done things differently. I’m still working on it but below is a few tips on how I’ve started to ‘look after myself’.
1. Focus and do things that make YOU happy – whether it be spending time with loved ones, planning activities on free weekends or days off to do something fun, watching your favourite shows (for me a little bit of football) or even just taking a nap.
2. Find solace in your solitude and learn to enjoy your own company – spending time on your own and having self love days are so so important! Some days just stick on a face mask, netflix and eat a load of junk!
3. I say eat junk but also exercise, whether it be a a little workout, a walk/jog or hitting the gym – keeping physically healthy is still key even if you do have a cheeky chocolate after a session ?
4. It’s okay to say no whether it be taking on a task at work that’s too exhausting or not wanting to attend family events/go out with friends when you’re not feeling up to it, just say no.
5. Ask for help – often this selfless side of us stops us from asking for help because we don’t want to be a burden but it’s honestly the best thing and will stop us from pushing ourselves to the point of exhaustion whether it be stress in the workplace or just struggling in life.
6. If you feel like you can’t confide in others write your feelings down! I can’t stress how important keeping a diary/journal or writing letters to yourself is. It’s something that saved me when I was at my lowest and hopefully something that will continue to help with my peace of mind.
7. Be selfish with your time – be wary of spending time with people who disturb your peace but also take a break from social media! We spend so much time on social media and although there’s benefits as young people we often fall into the trap of comparing our lives to others. Take some time out to separate yourself from the virtual world and do a bit of mindfulness, live in the moment and focus on the present and how to make the best of your life.
8. And lastly let go of things that disturb your peace. Whether it be people or thoughts, even if we want certain things if they’re bad for us or the stress of obtaining them is too much just trust in the process, leave it in the hands of the Almighty and inshallah everything will work out and if it’s not in the way you’d hoped its still okay.
My nan used to always say to me “things will always be okay in the end, and if they’re not okay it’s not the end” and she was absolutely right. I hope reading my tips and experiences have helped you, look after yourself guys and you do you!