Self-Care vs. Selfishness: Why It’s Okay to Say No | By Dani Antonio

They say that when you do things for yourself or when you put your needs before others then you’re a selfish person. Even when you’ve given everything you have to those around you, you still question the thought of doing something nice for yourself because you’re afraid that it will send the message that you only think of yourself.

But why is that? Is saying no to others selfish? Is self-care selfish?

Taking care of yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t care about others. Think about it, if you don’t take care of yourself or love yourself first, how can you possibly take care and love others? Sometimes, you need to take time for yourself. You need to breathe, pause, and listen, so that you can be physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy.

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Here are some self-care techniques you can do when you’re feeling “selfish”:

1. Recognize that it is okay to not be okay

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Have you ever been asked the questions, Are you okay? or How are you feeling?, and you replied with I’m fine., but in reality…you weren’t. This is where the first technique comes in – self-care is acknowledging when you’re not okay.

This will not only help you open yourself up to others, and be more transparent, but this will also help you refocus on what is needed to help you get better.

2. Discover what self-care actions or activities make you feel better

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We are all unique. You’re way to destress may be different from you’re best friend’s way to destress, so it’s good to ask the question, “What self-care action works for me?”.

Here are some common actions people do to practice self-care: take a yoga class, meditate, bake, dance out your feelings, pray, or listen to music.

3. Unplug from social media

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With social media taking up most of our time, days, and lives, we forget that there is a world outside of our phones. To practice self-care, one simple action you can do is to “disconnect to reconnect”. Sometimes, you need to pause and take a breather from social media to take care of yourself. Social media can be a good platform for empowerment, but this can also have great impacts on your mental health, with all of the set standards and expectations.

4. Sleep

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Sleep is definitely something we all know and love, but somehow, most of us still don’t get enough of it. Most of the time, we are drowned with school work, meetings, or appointments, that we forget to rest our bodies and minds, so that we may re-energize ourselves for the next day.

As impossible as it may seem, you need to TRY to get at least 8 hours of sleep. This will really help with your attentiveness, alertness, and your mental health overall.

5. Say no once in a while

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Saying no is definitely not an easy thing to do. Millions of things could go through your mind before replying with this two letter – one syllable word, but saying no could be the biggest leap to self-care you could ever make.

Saying no is being able to stand up for yourself. It’s an act of courage, honesty, and respect. You are courageous enough to be true to yoursef, honest enough to be transparent and open to what you truly feel, and respectful enough to take care of yourself and those around you.

“The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.”

– Diane Von Furstenberg –

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