Is it really selfish to take care of me, first?

Selfish | An empty glass teacup and saucer Do you ever ask yourself, “Is it really OK or am I just being selfish to want to take care of me, first?”

Perhaps you’ve read articles about how we can’t give from an empty cup?

Remember how airline cabin crew tell us to put the oxygen mask on our own face before attending to everyone else?

And, yet…  And, yet…  How often do you instinctively put someone else’s needs before your own?

  • Your child?
  • Your partner?
  • Your frail or elderly relative?
  • Or your friend, whose life just nosedived?

The list of people whose needs we meet before even thinking about our own can be very long indeed!  It’s so completely normal to do that – and to realise (probably just too late for comfort) that you’ve let your own energy run dry.  (I wrote this post when it happened to me a while ago.)  And if you are a naturally generous soul, it can feel unnaturally selfish to impose a boundary limit on your giving, however necessary it has become for your own wellbeing.  Time for some self-care!

Self-care is not selfish!

Selfish | A luxurious bath, set with fluffy towels

So, what is self-care?

Self-care is not just the hot bath, time out with a good book or the Reiki session – although these are all wonderful things!

Self-care starts with self-compassion.  It starts with listening to your body, your heart and your mind – hearing what’s there with kindness and without judgement.

That’s part of the thinking behind the words we use during a Reiki Plus session.  When we want to clear uncomfortable feelings or emotions, we start by saying,

“Even though I have this [insert whatever your painful feeling is], I love and accept myself anyway.” 

And then we tap, and the horrids will begin to shift – because we are paying them loving attention.

So, what’s going on for you right now? 

  • Can you love and accept what’s going on for you – and how you’re coping with it?
  • Try asking yourself, “What would support me, mentally or physically?
  • What do I need right now?
  • What else is possible?
  • What would I say to my dearest friend in this situation?
  • Can you give that love and compassion to yourself?  That’s self-care.  And there’s no need to wait for a crisis to hit before you begin…

To see your own value and give yourself what you need, generously, with love and understanding, is very far removed from the “devil take the hindmost”, “out of my way, sucker, I want that” vibe that is so clearly manifesting across the world.  To acknowledge your own true value, deep in your heart, is also to be faced with the truth that every single soul on this planet has equal value and deserves no less.  And if we have filled our own cup, we have something to give.

What’s your experience?

Perhaps you have a favourite self-care tip?  Do share it in the box below; it may be just what another reader needs to see today.

And if you need some help to believe it’s not being selfish to create your own self-care habits, you can find out more about how I might help you do that by exploring What I Do.  Or you can get in touch here for a free, 15-minute chat about your situation.

Photo credit: Eiti Kimura via / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: leyla.a via / CC BY-SA

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  1. Carol on July 17, 2019 at 6:15 am

    Going to bed with the birdsong every once in a while, waking and sitting in my garden with a coffee every morning, taking a nap in the day, meditation and yoga for 20 minutes a day, Louise Hays mirror work! X

    • Lizzie on July 17, 2019 at 3:17 pm

      Sounds lovely, Carol – a really nice mix of strategies!

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