Protecting your energy: When it’s time to be selfish

The word ‘selfish’ can leave a bad taste in your mouth. It’s rarely (if ever) viewed in a positive light. Rather, it’s often seen as a downfall of someone’s character. This impression can discourage us from prioritising our needs above others’ altogether – even if the cost comes at our health and happiness.

Selfishness needn’t always carry a negative connotation. Sometimes, being selfish with your time and your energy is necessary to remain balanced and tend to your own needs. Although each and every one of us has responsibilities and commitments, there comes a point when we need to set boundaries and realign our priorities.

In this week’s journal entry, we’re approaching selfishness in a different light. We want to highlight some signs that may indicate that you’re in need of some serious R&R, and encourage you to shift your mindset to a positive stance on prioritising your wellbeing above all else.

But first, let’s take a look at some signs that you’re in dire need of putting you first.

Signs your body is begging you to take time out

If you’re approaching a state of burnout or pushing yourself beyond your limitations, your body will eventually intervene. Before you get to a state of being physically unable to cope, listen to your body and pick up on the indicators that it might be time to take a step back and readjust your focus. Some of these signs may be:

  • You feel mentally and/or physically fatigued all the time
  • You’re stretched too thin amongst your priorities
  • Even the simplest of tasks are overwhelming
  • You fall ill regularly
  • Your exercise and nutrition are slipping
  • You feel inclined to withdraw
  • You’re having difficulty concentrating
  • You feel increasingly irritable 
  • Your creativity is stunted

If these ring true for you, it’s time for you to start being selfish. This doesn’t mean neglecting the wellbeing of those around you or avoiding your responsibilities. It means communicating to others that you need to take a break and make an unwavering commitment to nurturing your physical and mental health.

Before doing so, here are some common mindset traps to avoid.

Habits that are hindering your self-care

When we’ve been thinking a certain way for so long, it might not feel natural to suddenly stop and question the validity of those thoughts. But that’s exactly what you need to do! Below are some common misguided thought patterns that may be standing in the way of you embodying the most healthy, happy and balanced version of you.

If you’re not working you’re resting

Scrolling through social media or flicking through television channels may feel like a break, but more often than not it’s hindering you from being able to fully recharge. Just like sugar gives you a hit of energy and then a crash later on, mindlessly consuming digital content can give you the numbing entertainment you may be after, but leave you feeling even more drained afterwards.

What will fill your cup is doing relaxing activities you actually enjoy. This may be reading a book, catching up on a show you love, listening to music or writing about your day. On top of this, spending time to just sit and be present in the moment allows your mind and body to slow down, harmonise and recuperate.

Productivity is the priority

Repeat after us: Self-care is productive. 

In the hustle and bustle of our modern society, productivity is often associated with ticking off tasks on a never-ending to-do list. However, your time and energy are a precious resource – one that is worth investing in yourself. Managing your energy and knowing when to be selfish with your time will make you more productive than trying to maintain maximum output all the time.

Comparing your ability to those around you 

One of the biggest traps of all is deciding whether you deserve to take time for you based on the output and abilities of others. If your colleague has a seemingly busier schedule, your partner is arriving home later, or your friend is putting more on their plate, this should not impact whether you grant yourself the time and the energy to focus on you. We all cope with – and enjoy – different paces of life. All you need to do is listen to your own mind and body. If you’re feeling drained, discontented or unbalanced – no matter how much is on your plate – it’s time to be selfish with your time and energy.

How  to be selfish with your self-care

Where do we begin? With the basics:

Realise that you are in control

Although this is always the case, it can escape us so easily. You are the only one who can choose to put yourself first – no one else is going to do it for you. Rather than handing the control of your life over to others, take it back and set conscious, purposeful intentions to harness this power for optimising your state of wellbeing.

Be inflexible

Say goodbye to the easygoing attitude when it comes to your wellness – be inflexible. Be crystal clear on your intentions and priorities, and recognise and respect the boundaries you need to be your best. 

Say no

Saying no isn’t a one-way street. By saying no, we’re also saying yes to something else. We are saying yes to quiet time, yes to scheduling in what brings us joy, yes to peace and clarity, so that when we’re saying yes to others, we’re not spending every last drop of our energy doing so.

Be patient with yourself

Being selfish with your time and energy may not be your first instinct, and for a while you may find yourself falling into old patterns and retreating on your newfound commitment to self-care. And that’s ok. Being able to recognise this and be kind to yourself is the path to progression.

If you need support and guidance to relearn how to prioritise yourself, that is exactly what Eden is here for. Our team of health experts are skilled in hugely diverse realms of wellness – from fitness to nutrition, counselling, mindset coaching and speciality healing services – to help ground and centre you in a well-rounded sense of health and happiness.

Click here to reserve your stay and our reservations team will be in touch.