Hello. Katie Wheeler here with week four of my five keys to happiness video series. If you missed the previous three weeks when I talked about perspective, choosing your thoughts, and the magic of less, you can catch up on my Facebook page under videos. Thank you for joining me for today’s happiness key, the art of selfishness.
I call this an art because healthy selfishness is a balance between caring for other people’s needs while making sure your own needs are met. It is vital that you take time to care for yourself! There’s a reason the airplane safety lecture says to secure your own oxygen mask before your children. If you’re not breathing, you can’t help anybody. Taking time for yourself means, filling your cup with things that give you joy. Filling your cup with love for yourself allows you to pour that love onto others. Jesus said to love your neighbors as yourself, but if you’re not loving yourself, you can’t love others.
Be Unselfishly Selfish
Taking time for yourself is the most unselfish thing you can do! If you don’t purposefully do this, then other things will creep in without you realizing it. Feelings of bitterness, resentment, anger, jealousy will creep in and fill your cup, and before you know it, those are the feelings you’re pouring on those closest to you. You’re loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
My cue that I need some self care is usually when I start getting short with my family. My patience runs low and I get snippy. This is my reminder that I need to take some time for myself. But how? When you’re so busy you feel like you’re chasing your tail all day, how do you take time for yourself?
You’ve got to prioritize.
What is more important, folding that load of laundry, or spending that ten minutes doing something you enjoy? Is it necessary to wash those dishes right now, or can they wait while you read a book, or color in an adult coloring book? Do those emails need checked at 8:00 p.m. at night or can they wait until you’re back in the office tomorrow morning? Truly, what is so urgent that it can’t wait? YOU! You are a priority, so treat yourself as one.
Find one chore to skip each day, and spend that time on yourself. Skip Facebook for a day. I bet if you set the timer for the next time you check Facebook or other social media, it’ll eat up more time than you realize.
Involve your family.
Talk to your spouse and your kids if they’re old enough, and explain why this is important to you. If you need to, plan a night each week or every other week where you trade off childcare with your spouse so you can each do something you enjoy. For me, that would be going to Starbucks, the Public Library, the mall or Hobby Lobby. I love Hobby Lobby. Plan a night for you, and a night for your spouse.
Try getting up earlier. For me, this doesn’t work because my toddler is an early riser, and I’m not a morning person. So I allow screen time in the morning. This allows me some time to do nothing but drink my coffee. Despite the precautions about screen time, I feel like if it allows me to enjoy spending time with her in the mornings instead of resentful that she woke me up so early, then I’m okay with it. It’s all about balance for me.
Find something you love to do and do it.
What excites you, what fills your cup and brings you joy? Do it. And don’t feel guilty and don’t apologize. Do you like to sew, make crafty things? Make a space in your home where you can spend time on that, and set a goal for just a few minutes a day. I’m sure you can push something else aside. Do you like to exercise? Get up a few minutes earlier and set your timer to do jumping jacks, yoga or mediation? Practice some deep breathing. After the kids are in bed, take a hot bath with some candles, relaxing music and a good book or magazine. Just DO it, and those closest to you will reap the rewards as a side effect of your personal happiness.
Find something that brings you joy, and make time for it every day. Because you are worth it.
That’s all for this week’s happiness key. I invite you to join me next week for my fifth and final key. I know I said I was going to talk about gratitude; however, as I’ve thought about it this month, I feel there is a more important key to address. Plus, I’ve spoken about gratitude before. So please join me next week for my fifth and final happiness key, living out your purpose.
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a thought about this week’s key, the subtle art of selfishness, in the comments section of this post.
The greatest compliment you can give me is to share my work. If you enjoyed this, please share. If you have an idea for a future post or a question for me, leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for my email list using the sign up box on this page to receive new posts directly to your inbox. Follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/pixiedustandwhiskey.
Exclusive offer for email subscribers: receive a free copy of my eBook, “The Road to Happiness is Paved with Many Thanks.”
Copyright © 2016 Katherine J. Wheeler. All rights reserved.