Many of us have people in our lives who want us to make THEM happy, but it’s my belief as a wellness practitioner, that if you make the hard decision to live for yourself, you invariably end up helping them more than if you selflessly cater to their every wish.
It’s a struggle we women face, isn’t it? Finding a balance between catering to our family and friends (and jobs), while leaving room for our own darn happiness.
These quotes on self-love stand out as true and poignant and go to the art of selfishness:
“You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.” ~Unknown
“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” ~ Barbara De Angelis
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection.” ~Buddha
Being self-centered is not a bad thing
Think about it “self” and ”centered”– centered within yourself. Sounds good to me! Putting yourself first is what makes for a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. The selfishness I’m advocating is a healthy regard for what makes you your best. There is an essential art to selfishness: Practice taking care of yourself first, then take care of your other responsibilities.
Some self-prioritizing activities
By doing these activities regularly, you will make yourself happier and more confident. By being happier, you will be more productive and nicer to be around.
Start a morning meditation practice.
Whether you have kids or not, meditating early in the morning is the best way to start the day. Instead of going 0-60, start your day off mindful and with purpose.
Get regular massages.
After a massage, women report feeling more loving, more giving and less stressed. This definitely equates to being a better wife, mother and… just a better person in general. Work it into the budget as you would do anything else important.
Get a hobby or something fun you do for yourself regularly.
Make Thursdays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. your time for a cooking or dancing class, for going out with friends or when you let the pool shark in you out.
Learn to say “no.”
We, women, are such people pleasers. God forbid we say “no” every now and again. They’re not going to die…and neither will you.
Ask for what you need.
We can’t expect to get our needs met if we don’t express them. First, know what you want and desire. Then, don’t be afraid to ask. Others may not have the mind-reading capabilities that you have. So say it out loud!
Schedule in a daily fitness routine.
If you want to boost your happiness factor, then you NEED to make exercise a daily “must-do.” Exercising releases endorphins and dopamine – the feel-good hormones. You’ll be an all-around nicer person. So it’s a win-win for all.
Make time for silence.
There are times when all we want is a little quiet from the chitter chatter of little voices or the sound of a football game on TV can be incredibly irritating. Know when to say to your loved ones, “I need silence.” An hour or two is not too much to ask.
Why we must put our needs first
When you put your needs first, you not only receive the benefits, but you are also setting a good example for your children, your nieces and others who look up to you. You are also showing your partner how you wish to be treated – with love, honor, and respect.
It’s our job to set proper boundaries and practice putting ourselves on the front burner – so we can genuinely love and be there for others.
If that is “self-centered” or “selfish,” then count me in!
Bess is a wellness coach and educator, healing arts practitioner, and was lead Ayurvedic therapist for the Chopra Center for Well-being for 10 years. She is a dedicated wife and mother to four children. She is passionate about natural forms of healing, veganism, fitness and healthy living. She gets her "juice" from juicing, yoga, meditation, and being a mama.