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Self Care Is Not Selfish: 7 Reasons Putting Yourself First Helps Others

I know you’re busy. I know you don’t have time relax or take a “me day” – there’s just too much to get done. Yet, you know that the phrase “self care is not selfish” is true.

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Breaking Down Self-Care and Laziness

If you take a day off work to relax and de-stress – isn’t that letting your boss down?

If you go to the spa on Saturday instead of staying home to do laundry – isn’t that being irresponsible?

It can be hard to see that the short term downside of being “irresponsible” can actually be beneficial in the long-term.

Here’s how “being selfish” isn’t selfish at all and can actually be a big help to those around you. Yes – even you, moms.

For the video learners, check out the video below otherwise keep scrolling.

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#1 – It actually makes you more giving 

When your mind, body and soul feel full and content, you demand less of others. You have taken time to fill up your cup so that it’s full and ready to give to the next person who needs it.

Let’s say your boyfriend is going to be home late after a long and stressful day at work. You’ve spent the evening making your favourite dinner and watching re-runs of your fave TV shows. You’ve had plenty of time to put your own stressful day behind you.

Then the BF walks in and he’s grumpy. Work didn’t go well. He’s hungry and wants you to make him a snack because he just wants to collapse on the couch and play video games.

The chances of you being able to take of his demands without throwing a hissy fit just went way up because you spent a few hours taking care of yourself.

Imagine you spent those hours doing the dishes, cleaning his clothes off the bedroom and scrubbing the bathtub. If he came home and started demanding all that stuff  – it’s sure to blow up into a huge fight!

Putting yourself first can work wonders in your relationships.

#2 – Your happiness is contagious

This saying is a cliche because it’s so true. When you’re around someone who is totally grumpy and negative those feelings will start to rub off on you.

The good news is that the same goes for positive energy. If you take the time to re-charge, others will feed off those vibes and adjust their moods.

It also makes you less likely to get your energy drained by a negative nancy. Think about it.

Imagine you just won the lottery. You know you’re spending the rest of your days in a beach house in the bahamas. There isn’t a negative nancy in the world that is going to bring your mood down that day! You’re just way too high on life to care!

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#3 You Will Motivate Others

When you focus on your self care, you will start to feel more motivated. You will inspire yourself and start thinking of dreams and goals that you want to accomplish.

The bonus?

You’ll start to motivate others.

When they see you making goals and accomplishing them – they’ll start to think maybe they can do those things too. They can also come to you and ask you for tips on how you’re so motivated, and you will help them. Your self care and attention to yourself will trickle down to everyone around you.

#4 – You Have More Physical Stamina

An important aspect of self care is keeping your body healthy, not just your brain. Eating good food, getting lots of rest and exercising so that your body feels good and energized.

The people around you will definitely benefit from your newfound stamina.

You’ll have more energy for sex.

You’ll be able to run around and play with the kids.

You can easily go on walks and hikes with friends for some bonding time in nature.

The list goes on and on!

Pssst.. I think you’re going to love my FREE 10 Day Self Care challenge. Click here to learn more. 

#5 – You’ll Be More Understanding

You know that saying “the straw that broke the camel’s back”?

It’s the one that explains why you threw a temper tantrum because your boyfriend put the dishes away in all the wrong spots. The tantrum didn’t really have anything to do with the dishes.

It happened beacuse you messed up at work today, you stayed up way too late last night, your Visa bill came in way higher than expected and now you have to re-arrange all the dishes.

When you take time for yourself, the straw that breaks the camel’s back never comes.

You have been actively taking straw off the camel by taking care of yourself.  So when your boyfriend or anyone else puts a straw on there, the camel just continues walking with his back totally healthy.

Taking time for yourself will make you more understanding and patient when life throws its lemons at you.

Yay! Everyone loves lemonade, and you’ll be making the best batch.

#6 – Self-Car Avoids Burn Out

When I was working in the film industry, it was really high-paced and stressful. The workload was unbearable. This made me feel like it was impossible to take days off or just spend an extra day re-charging.

So what did I do instead of taking a day or two to myself?

I pushed through it.

Determined to be that person that could handle it all on her own without asking for help and without missing a beat.

And what happened?

One day my boss walked into my office and was talking to me about a new workflow. I literally couldn’t take it anymore so I burst into tears and told him I was quitting.

That’s it, film career done. I was totally burned out and never wanted to look at another film production schedule again.

Burn out is a real thing. Either you get physically sick or you lash out and feel like totally throwing in the towel because it’s too much.

Don’t let this happen. Taking a day off here or there or asking for some help can keep you going for months. Take one day so you can give back months. Take one week so you can give back years.

#7 – You Will Inspire Others

When you’ve got it all together, people will notice.

They’ll think: “How does she do it all and with a smile on her face?”

And you’ll know the answer is “selfish” and they might not understand. They might judge you if they knew you left the kids with dad on Saturday so you could have a girls night. Or they might whisper if they knew you stayed home from work because you were tired, not because you were sick.

But little do they know, they’ll want what you have, and if you tell them your secret – it might just inspire them to do the same.


If you need a bit of guidance with taking some time to yourself, I urge you to start my FREE 10 Day Self Care challenge. 10 days of actionable tasks to clear your mind. Get all 10 days in one downloadable PDF! Learn More. 


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Lana Otoya

2 thoughts on “Self Care Is Not Selfish: 7 Reasons Putting Yourself First Helps Others”

  1. Hi Lana,

    Over the weekend I bought and read your book “Rumination: Learn to Overcome Your Destructive Thoughts and Start Thinking Positively (Fight Anxiety and Stress)”

    It’s a great book and has been very useful for me as I didn’t know that negative rumination was a thing and I’ve been doing it all my life! It’s so helpful to name it, label it and now I can work on stopping it! Thanks for writing it! I’ve also just read all your other blogs (except the dating ones as I don’t need that 🙂

    I tried to look at the 10-day self care challenge but the link is broken. Do you still have the 10-day PDF or has it been removed for a reason?

    All the best, keep up the great work.

    Andy Manning
    New Zealand

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