Self care is necessary to find balance in life

By Nijzel Dotson, Advocate Staff

Nobody wants to be considered selfish.

At a young age many of us were taught that it’s important to help others and to put the needs of others ahead of our own.

But like many things in life, as you grow, you realize it’s more complicated than that — not everything is as black and white as we were raised to believe.

I wouldn’t argue people should selfishly live without taking the feelings of others into consideration, however, I do believe everyone deserves time dedicated to self-care.

Some people can become so focused on pleasing others, so inclined to help those they love, that they lose contact with who they are or who they are meant to be.

I would know because I am one of those people, and I know that I’m not alone.

I’m not the only one who over-helps or the only person who’s been on the verge of collapsing because I’ve allowed the circumstances other people battle contribute to my stress.

Nor am I the only one who has a difficult time seizing good opportunities because of mounting concerns of how it may make someone else feel.

People like us are the reason I’m writing this.

We need to realize if we don’t take care of ourselves, it will hinder our ability to take care of others in.

On an airplane, passengers are instructed to put their own oxygen mask on first before trying to assist the person next to them in the event of an emergency. Similarly, people with an urge to help others through life’s issues need to make sure they’re in a place to provide adequate support.

You can’t save the person next to you if your judgment is clouded by internal issues.

Mental health days and weekend spa excursions aren’t readily available to all of us. However, we all deserve the luxury of self-care, however we find it.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break from the external forces in our lives to focus on how to be the best possible versions of ourselves.

Part of gaining long-term happiness is becoming comfortable in your own skin. How can someone do that if they’re constantly worrying about others?

Each person owes it to him or herself to discover their passion, path toward finding true purpose in life. Discover what you like about yourself and cling to it. If you dislike something about yourself, work on ways to improve it.

Making life-altering decisions can be part of self-care, just as stepping outside-of-the box can often inspire growth.

Whether it’s choosing a school, deciding on a career, leaving home or making a shift in diet, if it’s what you honestly believe will give you the best chance for success or happiness, try it.

Remember, your opinion matters more than anyone else’s.

Over-extending ourselves without taking personal moments to recharge emotionally usually results in a feeling that life is passing us by, or steamrolling over us.

People often confuse “self” care with being selfish. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Finding a balance between assisting those in need and a healthy dose of self-maintenance is the best way to keep track of who we are.