It’s Friday and you’re excited to have a quiet Saturday after many months of booked weekends. Your friend knows you’re free and asks for your help to move to her new apartment tomorrow. After contemplating you decide to say no because you really wanted this quiet day to yourself. Your friend calls you selfish and says you only ever think about yourself.
Yikes. That hurt.
A negative thinking spiral starts in your brain and you start wondering if you should say yes and if you’re a bad person, a bad friend, and if you are indeed selfish?
This is a dilemma you may have faced before or face often. You wonder if you should help so you’re not a bad person or if you should honor your self-care plans even though people might call you selfish and not agree with you.
In a society where many people choose to give from an empty cup, it can be difficult to be a leader and stand out by choosing something different.
I’ve been in this situation NUMEROUS times myself and often chose to help out of the desire of doing the right thing and not being a “bad person.” This only led me to be in resentment afterward at myself and at the other person. I knew I couldn’t live like this anymore and had to find a new way.
How could I choose to honor myself even if it’s unpopular?
I found a few things that made a HUGE difference in my ability to choose myself and not feel bad about it. Here are the 3 steps to help you honor your self-care even if those around you don’t.
3 Steps To Honor Your Self Care:
Be clear about why you’re doing it
When we are unclear of why we are doing something it’s easier to fall prey to other people’s comments. When we are hesitant and don’t speak with strong conviction it creates open holes for people to poke into. This can cause us to retreat inward and not feel proud about what we are doing. This uncertainty causes other’s opinions to trump your own.
Make sure you always value your opinion over others about your self-care choices.
Focus on how this decision ADDS to your life
Many people feel guilty about choosing self-care because they believe they could be doing something more productive with their time. They focus on what they are losing instead of gaining. Instead, focus on what is being ADDED to your life versus detracted from your life. What are you gaining from this self-care time… is it mental clarity? Stress relief? A health boost?
Shift your perspective to focus on the gains you are getting from your self-care choices.
Let others have their reactions
This is the best thing you could do to break the tension you have inside about your decision. In a culture where hustle and grind is rewarded over personal self-care and health, people WILL have reactions. It’s best to expect it rather than be surprised when it happens. Separate their emotions from yours and decide that it’s OK for them to feel how they feel and that it means NOTHING about you. This can take time and practice, but over time others reactions will feel less personal.
Decide how you will feel about your decision and let others feel what they feel.
You no longer have to feel bad, guilty, or selfish if you are deciding to choose self-care today over what someone would expect of you. Use these tips every time you find yourself in a self-care dilemma. May you feel the confidence to choose self-care and get the mental clarity, focus, and rest that you need!