We're taught from a very young age to do well for others as often as we can. Treat others how you want to be treated. Some of us bend our backs until they're about to snap helping others. Whether it's being the shoulder to cry on or the one to help a bestie on a time crunch with her resume, you're always putting others before you. You're tired but you don't show it until you're alone, filled with tension in your neck and shoulders, wondering why you're so exhausted and where all of the things on your to-do list came from.
You have to put being so selfless a rest. You are entitled to being selfish. You don't have to be there for people every second at their back and call. You don't have to stay friends with anyone who makes you feel anything less than happy. You need to make sure the first person you take care of is yourself.
I've personally had a really rough year in terms of my mental health. After gaining over fifteen pounds, I felt my self-esteem shoot so far down I couldn't imagine ever liking myself again until I lost weight. I lost myself for a while. I shut down and just didn't want to be around anyone. I couldn't make myself be there for friends or family like I used to. I decided it was time to do whatever it took to feel happy again.
I started watching body-positive Youtubers and shopped for new clothes that fit this new body I was in. I realized I don't have to put on a brave face all the time.
Take alone time for yourself. It's ok not to want to be around people all the time and you're not obligated to be. Being with friends and family is great medicine but being alone is perfectly good medicine as well. Sometimes it gives you a recharge you can't get from others. Once you discover what gives you peace when your body and soul are in turbulence, stick with it.
I like that our society is becoming so accepting of self-care and mental health awareness. People go through things and never talk about them because of the fear of being judged or not understood. I know I struggle with talking about the things going through my mind because I just don't feel like burdening other people with it. I prefer to write it out in a journal where no one else can see it. I have realized the importance of being open, however, as much as I prefer to just stay silent.
I am becoming happier again. I may have been splurging on myself a bit too much as of recent and at some point I'll be ending that for the sake of my wallet. The last year has made me realize that I can't forget about myself the way I had. I need to look in the mirror and recognize who I'm seeing. I will keep putting myself first and not put myself in situations that will make me uncomfortable for the sake of other's happiness.
It's ok to be selfish. You can be a good friend without being 100% selfless all the time.
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