Is it selfish to look after yourself?

Is it selfish to look after yourself?

Finding the time and putting effort to look after yourself may seem selfish. Especially for people who have an innate calling to help other people, helping themselves may be the furthest thing from their minds. It is often seen as a selfish thing to do. Even in this day and age when we should know better, you still might feel that way.

Due to this reasoning, many people who have a natural affinity to help others often don’t look after themselves.

When you don’t look after yourself, several things can happen:

  • You will start to burn out.
    A burnout happens when you overwork and overtax yourself, not allowing enough room and time to rest and relax. When this happens, you become increasingly less effective at your tasks, and eventually you might give up altogether. You end up giving up on your purpose, and once purpose is lost, it can lead to anger or even depression.
  • You may start to internalise the emotions and problems of the people you are helping.
    This is inevitable but being of sound mind and body is crucial to being able to properly manage this. When it is not managed, all the problems of the world start to weigh on you and eventually these emotions will leak out and affect those closest to you. Your friends and family may feel increasing anxiety and stress from you, and instead of being able to help, you start to become a burden.
  • There might be a good chance you start losing sight of who you are.
    You are also a person. You are someone with hopes, dreams, desires, and you might also find yourself needing help from time to time. If you forget this by prioritising others, you lose who you are and why you do the things you do. When you need help, you might not realise it until it is took late.

You need to find the time to rest, take time for your own activities, and manage your personal responsibilities. When you take care of yourself, you can make yourself a more effective and helpful person to everyone else. There is a reason that in an in-flight emergency, you are advised to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others. If you can’t help yourself, you might not be well enough to help others.

Join us at College of Allied Educators to learn more about your deepest emotions, and discover how you can overcome your fears, disagreements, and challenges in order to build a happier life for yourself and your loved ones.

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