When I talk about wellness and the wellness lifestyle, I use words like gratitude, connected, giving, loving, caring, and sharing. The last thing you’d think I would suggest is to be selfish. But as you begin this new year and set your New Year’s resolutions, I am strongly suggesting that you be more selfish. I know this may sound crazy, but hear me out.
I have watched many people commit fully to caring for others. Their hearts are big and in the right place, but in their quest to give it all they have, some compromise their own wellbeing. This compromise can lead to them getting run down, worn out, burned out, and even sick.
Putting everyone else first leads to less time and attention on YOU. This may mean missed workouts, more stops at the fast food drive-thru, less sleep with too many late nights and/or early mornings. Over time, your health suffers. And guess what happens then? You become no good for anyone!
This problem is common. It occurs in mothers caring for their families, parents caring for a child with special needs, children caring for ailing parents, and anyone putting everything they’ve got into another person, job, or cause. Their intention is good, they mean well, and in most cases, it is human nature and instinctual. Which is why I am taking the time here to point out that more attention on you will lead to you being better for everyone and everything around you.
Think about that instruction that flight attendants give before each flight… make sure you place YOUR oxygen mask on FIRST before helping those around you. You would instinctually put your child’s mask on first, right? Seems crazy… and selfish… to take care of yourself first, doesn’t it? But once you have YOUR oxygen, you are able to be more helpful. And… if you become oxygen deprived while trying to help someone else, then you both suffer.
So… this year I am strongly recommending that you make more time for yourself. Think of this time for yourself as an investment. This investment pays huge dividends. Hire a personal trainer. Take those days off work. Get to the salon. Schedule a regular massage. Have a regular lunch date with a good friend. Travel. Make time for a hobby you love. By investing in caring more for yourself, you become better for everyone around you. And a stronger, happier, healthier, and more rested you becomes a more productive, more patient, more loving and helpful you. You’ll get more done, serve more, be more pleasant, be more PRESENT, and your
happiness, self-esteem, and level of contentment will explode.
If your ultimate goal is to help others, you will be able to help more people in bigger ways if you become better yourself. So commit to being more selfish in 2019!
I live your blogs Dr. B! This one especially hits home for me in many places! I’ll keep reading and building.