Last week I did a presentation about work-life balance to a group of women at the National Association of Women Business Owners luncheon. It was a wonderful group of women, some of which I have known for several years. People who know me for a while come to expect the unusual comment here and there. I am authentic, unique and not always filtered.
“Every day I practice random acts of selfish”, I stated proudly.
They looked at me kind of shocked.
The word selfish has gotten a bad rap in our society. We have spun the word to mean that we don’t care about others. We are told as children to share our toys and not to be selfish. As adults we can still share our toys but being selfish is a must.
The definition of selfish is “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned with one’s own welfare regardless of others”.
We have been lead to believe that the only time it is okay to put ourselves first is if we are suffering from a major illness. Don’t worry about anyone else, just focus on getting well. It is sad that we have to get sick in order to have permission to focus solely on our own well being.
What would happen if every day, each one of us practiced random acts of selfish?
We would be less stressed, have less physical pain and deepen our relationships.
Being selfish about your own self care is not a detriment to others; instead it gives you more energy and vitality to share your gifts with others. You are healthier and happier and want the same for those around you.
Here are 10 tips to being selfish:
Disconnect – being free of distractions such as phones, computers and people for as little as 10 minutes can reduce your blood pressure, increase your oxygen intake and give you better decision making capabilities.
Accept that you are not a superhero – it is a given that your life is overflowing and you will never be able to manage it all. Say no to everything that is either not essential or doesn’t add something valuable to your life.
Pay attention to your health – don’t wait until you have a health crisis to start doing the things that keep your body running smoothly. You will be far more productive and happier if you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy and doing some type of activity.
Minimize toxins – not just chemicals but negative influences around you. Avoid toxic people and surround yourself with positive, supportive, uplifting people whenever possible.
Spend time alone – this is probably the hardest thing for your overworked and overwhelming schedule but it is critical for you to reset.
Relationships do matter – set aside quality time to spend with family and friends.
Treat yourself – do something that makes you feel good. Get some bodywork, a facial or enjoy a good glass of wine. Buy yourself flowers or light a scented candle. Do whatever feels like a treat to you.
Connect with nature – take a walk and pay attention to what is going on around you. Watch the birds, work in the garden or just play in the dirt.
Expand your awareness – take a class or try something new that you’ve always wanted to learn.
Remember fun – laugh, joke, play and find your sense of humor. Subscribe to a daily joke or get a joke a day calendar.