When we are growing up, we are taught to be considerate of others. We learn the important lesson of sharing is caring. We are brought to admire those who are selfless. We are, basically, coached not to be selfish. It's programmed in us that being selfish is an awful trait to have.
And honestly? I think it's great that we learned all that or else there would be a lot more narcissists in the world. It is essential that we all do our best to be thoughtful, caring, and compassionate people. But lately, I've been realizing that I, and many others, should start being more selfish.
Now when I say selfish, I don't mean you should be walking around like an egomaniacal jerk all the time. I'm not saying that you should always make everything about yourself and completely ignore the people around you. There is a reason, after all, why selfishness gets such a bad reputation.
I'm talking about the kind of selfish where you actually prioritize your own needs first instead of putting the interests of others before your own every single time. It can get exhausting after awhile always saying yes to doing something when in reality you want nothing more but to climb into your bed and watch Netflix. It's unfair to you if you are constantly stretching yourself thin to help others, especially if they don't acknowledge your support, and not being able to make any time for yourself. Consistently neglecting yourself like that is not healthy, and it's definitely no way to live.
If you're like me, it can be difficult to say no to people and not feel guilty. I get it. We put an immense amount of pressure on ourselves to make sure we're making all the right moves and keeping everyone happy. But what about your happiness?
The importance of self-care can't be underestimated. If you don't slow down and take a break for yourself often, you'll most likely suffer a mental breakdown at some point. No matter how busy you find yourself, carve out a segment of time dedicated to you and you only. It doesn't have to be elaborate. Maybe you want to read a chapter of a good book you've been reading or take a walk because the weather is nice. It doesn't even have to be something relaxing. Sometimes the best self-care you can give yourself is doing your laundry and finishing your homework.
You can be selfish sometimes and still be a great friend, child, sibling, student, employee, and human being. I promise. Now go and do something for yourself for a change.