The Art Of Being Selfish: Tips To Lookout For Number 1 To Help Your Loved Ones


Think of the instructions on board an aircraft: “In case of an emergency, the oxygen mask should be secured on yourself first before you attend to your child or another person.”

It’s a great example of how to put yourself first so that you’re better equipped to help someone else.

However, when you think of “looking after yourself” one of the first things that comes to mind is checking into a spa, detoxing, pampering yourself with beauty routines or even retail therapy. And make no mistake, we’ve all done that and gone through the guilt trips that inevitably follow. That could be because what we’ve done is a form of escapism, a one-off thing, an almost secret pleasure that we feel might cause us to be judged as selfish or self-indulgent.

But truly looking after yourself means a melding of mind and body, working towards a clear goal, and putting together a defined, personalized system that works as a routine. The larger benefit will slowly begin to make itself felt in your relationships, workplace and society in general.

What Is Self Care?

Whether you’re alone on a beach or at a crowded cocktail-party, there’s something at the core of your being that defines YOU and separates you from others. This sense of self is present in all of us, whether we are aware of it or not.

The sense of self comes from:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Understanding
  • Compassion for oneself
  • Ability to see oneself both objectively and subjectively
  • It is influenced by what we believe is our role in life, how others perceive us, our personal values and aspirations

When you incorporate these concepts into a holistic view of yourself, you develop a healthy and strong sense of self. What follows logically is the need to nurture and sustain this self concept, and that’s where self-care comes in.

Most of us (mistakenly) believe that it’s about letting ourselves eat that extra scoop of ice-cream, or splurging on a pair of fancy heels, playing truant from work for a fishing-trip with pals, or even throwing a tantrum, “saying it like it is” to your best friend, or some such self-indulgent activity. According to the WHO, it is how individuals, families and communities use the available resources to promote and maintain physical and mental health, avoid illnesses, cope with challenges such as disability either with or with the help of professional care-givers.

It is a process of recognizing that individuals can be agents of their own care, safety and wellness. Momentary self-indulgence gives you instant gratification but it could create future pain, problems or life-threatening conditions. Alcohol, drugs, comfort-eating, binge shopping or lounging in front of the TV all day are examples of things that definitely don’t classify as self-care.

Tips To Look Out for #1

It’s a fact that if you don’t care for yourself, how can you expect others to care for you? Let’s look at some do-able, sustainable and simple ways that will put us firmly on the self-care superhighway.

Your self-care routine could be a mix of all or some of these:

  • Exercise
  • Diet and mindful consumption
  • Sleep and rest
  • Meditation, yoga, Tai Chi
  • Journaling
  • Further education
  • Protecting your self-esteem
  • Being compassionate and kind to yourself

1. It’s not always about will-power and motivation: This is specially true of exercise. Cultivate the Tiny Habits routine, where you break each habit you want to develop into a series of smaller steps. For instance, if your goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day, start with 500 but just be consistent.

2. Don’t forget Mental Care: Get creative, visit museums and historical sites, learn a new skill or language, start a journal, read, do jigsaw puzzles. With self-awareness comes the ability to sense your own stress levels. That’s when you need a strong rest and digest self-care routine.

3. Emotions: Practice gratitude and kindness, find humor in everyday life, accept negative emotions such as anger, jealousy, fear or embarrassment as part of life and learn to move on.

4. Relationships: Taking emotional risks can build your inner strength. Try talking to people who don’t share your point of view so that you can examine your own values and beliefs. Find comfort in old friends and siblings who share history with you.

5. Use Resources: Whether you have the money or not, look for ways in which you can use available resources. Public places such as parks and gardens in your city are free, there are excellent public libraries and museums to explore, charities that you can donate to, online classes that you can take to enhance your skills, volunteer, get a pet, set up a balcony garden. 6. Take Care of Basics: Ensure that you eat a balanced diet suited to your age, health status and preferences. Schedule regular medical check-ups with your family doctor. Get enough sleep, reduce screen time and compulsive scrolling. Look at changing a job you hate, go on that dream vacation before it’s too late.

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