Time for Some Good Selfishness
When it’s OK to forget everything and everyone but YOU
By Nevine Shazli
A couple of weeks ago, I took a 24-hour ‘break’ from my regular life. I love my life; my husband and 3 year-old are amazing and I’m doing what I want to do. But still, I felt the need to get away from it all and to have a bit of time to and for Me. Does that make me selfish? If so, I’m very proud to be.
One night, or even one afternoon of going somewhere different and being in your own company can do wonders.
Taking a step back to rest, change scenery and have quiet alone time is not a luxury in our go-go-go world, but a necessity. Whether you’re a mom, entrepreneur, hard-working employee, CEO or caregiver, everyone needs a break. We all need to recharge the batteries, and we don’t have to wait until we can afford it or until we can take the time off for a weeklong holiday down south. One night, or even one afternoon of going somewhere different and being in your own company can do wonders.
I could crawl into bed and nap, go for a walk in the woods, get a massage, order room service, read, or watch mindless TV. I did all of the above, starting with the nap.
This was only the third time I was away from my son for the night since his birth, but the first time I was completely alone. It had been so long that I felt bewildered when I arrived at my destination and entered my room. What to do? There were no dishes or laundry to be done, no emails to check (well, there were, but I made the decision to unplug, knowing no one would die if I didn’t answer messages), no calls to make… It took a good hour and a half for me to actually sit down and relax, realizing that I had choices. I could crawl into bed and nap, go for a walk in the woods, get a massage, order room service, read, or watch mindless TV. I did all of the above, starting with the nap. The next day, when I was reunited with my family, I felt renewed and recharged. Was this getaway selfish? Yes, in the best way possible! This was good selfishness.
Bad selfishness hurts other people; it has negative consequences. It’s almost a form of narcissism.
Bad selfishness hurts other people; it has negative consequences. It’s almost a form of narcissism. A ‘me-myself-and-I’ attitude that disregards the needs and rights of others is not part of good selfishness. It is ego-based and driven by a sense of perceived superiority. Good selfishness is about self-respect. Taking a break and taking care of your self is an act of self-love that underlies a healthy self-esteem. It even underlies health itself, since recharging avoids burnouts. We are not hamsters who can keep spinning on a wheel without end. We need to get off the ride of the everyday routine with all its demands and obligations and breathe. Just breathe. And sleep. And eat slowly. And indulge in whatever we deprive ourselves of in the everyday.
Taking a break and taking care of your self is an act of self-love that underlies a healthy self-esteem.
If you can’t get away for a whole 24-hour period of time, there are little things you can do to enjoy some good selfishness. Go lie down on a park bench in the sun. Take your lunch and go eat it by the water, taking time to actually chew. Go to a park and walk, taking in the sights and sounds of nature. Take one computer and phone-free evening every week, and use that time to go to bed extra early, read or listen to music. Go get a massage, or some sort of spa treatment. Take a bubble bath. In fact, the more ‘little’ acts of good selfishness you engage in, the less you need the big ones such as getaways. But, unfortunately, the reality for most of us is that we get so caught up in the fast-paced madness of things needing to get done and deadlines needing to be met, that the little moments of selfishness end up taking a back seat. As for me, I’ll be scheduling them in, because if something is not on my schedule or to-do list, it’s not going to get any attention. Tonight, it’s an Epsom-salt and baking soda cleansing bath. I might even light candle.
And you? How can you practice good selfishness today? I’d love to hear from you regarding your activities of choice, little or big!
Image: via StockPholio.com
Nevine Shazli is a certified Strategic Intervention Life Coach. Having graduated from the Robbins-Madanes Training (RMT) program, she uses Strategic Intervention Life Coaching with individuals who need help with relationships, personal growth and development, and general life challenges. She is a certified ThetaHealer® and uses the ThetaHealing® technique as an integral part of her life coaching services. Nevine graduated from the McGill University School of Physical and Occupational Therapy in 1997 and has since worked in health care as an Occupational Therapist. She is a certified yoga teacher and Reiki Master practitioner.