Society teaches us that giving is a generous thing that marks of wonderful qualities, which it is. As a result, however, the insinuation is made that taking or not giving, is selfish and is perceived to be a negative trait. This could not be further from the truth.
The gift of giving:
- Giving is a beautiful quality that also helps in making us feel great
- This could be in the forms of:
- Helping people in need
- Cooking and caring for family or others
- Focusing on the health of your family or others
- Taking kids to extra curricula activities
- Gift giving
- Providing support
- Providing a shoulder to lean on
- Providing Guidance
- Helping move house or other such assistance
- Giving at work by helping your boss, colleagues, customers, clients etc.
- So many more
Society through social media, marketing, community conversation etc. is constantly displaying acts of giving, adding pressure to our already busy lives of giving.
We subconsciously feel the need to step up and keep up, by giving more.
How many times do you see people posting things about helping others?
- Taking kids to events
- Meal the prepare
- Charities they help
- Helping set up a party
- Helping move house
- Images of the well-kept home, garden, etc.
- Kids’ sports and other activities
Pressure! Pressure! Pressure!
How many times to you see people posting about taking time out for self-care?
- Reading a book
- Going for a quiet walk
- Having a massage
- Taking a warm bath
- Joining a fun activity
Though these posts exist, most of the society shows the giving, not the taking, taking time for oneself.
Instead, if someone posts too often about taking time out for themselves, the perception is that they are selfish, not taking care of themselves.
We add that pressure onto ourselves as well because giving makes us feel great and, the fact that we want to keep up with what everyone else is doing.
But what if we no longer feel great when we give?
What happens when the giving and the taking are not balanced?
Resentment, unhappiness, discontentedness, misery and the suffering of your health.
You see, you can only keep giving for so much time, before the system breaks down. The imbalance in the giving and taking can have very serious consequences.
Giving more than you take can lead to:
- Feeling unappreciated and feeling you are being taken for granted.
- Resentment starts to build against the very people you care for more. So instead of loving, liking and appreciating them through giving, you start to dislike them and get frustrated with even the smallest things. Then you start snapping and getting cranky at them, and they have no idea why. And neither do you.
- Relationship break downs; romantic, platonic and with your children.
- Resignation from a job you once loved.
- Self-loathing, lack of confidence, reduced self-esteem, all because of not taking care of yourself and letting your health, your weight, your appearance etc. go down from your own acceptable level.
- Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious and emotional, leading to emotional eating, or lack of appetite, or worse, both.
- Your weight blows out, you start to feel sluggish, fatigued, and cranky all the time and wonder why.
- Your health starts to go down, too much stress, nutrient deficiencies and more, leading to an array of possible health issues.
- Your mental health starts to go down.
- You start rejecting invitations and prefer to ‘stay in’ to avoid social gatherings. Partly because you don’t feel great, partly because you don’t have the energy, and partly because you really can’t stand being around anymore people that you have to ‘give’ to.
- Reduce resentment you start to feel for the people you say you love.
- Stops you feeling unappreciated.
- Stops you feeling like you are being taken for granted.
- Stops you from letting your own physical and mental health deteriorate.
- Stops the breakdown of relationships.
- Stops you feeling sluggish, fatigued, anxious, emotional, cranky, snappy, and all the other emotions that come from an imbalance of giving and taking.
‘Taking’ is not ‘selfish’; it is self-care and absolutely necessary!
Taking care of yourself and your own needs, fills your cup. It helps you:
- Feel energised
- Feel revitalised
- Feel appreciated
- Feel not taken for granted
- Feel loved
- Feel respected
- Improve your physical and mental health.
You can’t give from an empty cup.
And the more you take time for yourself, by yourself, the more you will then have to give to others.
AND the more you will be around for your loved ones. Afterall, if you don’t take care of yourself and something happens to you, who will then care for your loved ones?
Taking is NOT selfish, it is SELF-CARE!!!
What sorts of things can you do to ‘take’ and exercise self-care?
- Join a program for yourself. That could be going to the gym, joining a craft group, a support group, a car enthusiasts group; anything that you love and get pleasure out of.
- Take care of your health: This might include:
- Eating nutritious food
- Drinking enough water
- Getting enough good quality sleep
- Managing your stress load
- Setting boundaries
- Having regular health checks
- Taking supplements if you have nutrient deficiencies
- Taking time to rest
- Going for walks
- Keep up the appearance that helps you feel good. Each of these will be different for each person as different things make different people feel good. But some ideas include:
- Putting on make up
- Taking care of your skin
- Wearing clothes you love
- Having a shower (many people that fall deep can’t even fathom the idea of taking a shower)
- Getting your hair done
- Simply brushing your hair
- Other simple pleasures:
- Take at least 10 minutes a day for yourself, by yourself, doing something you love.
- Reading a book
- Taking a warm bath
- Getting a massage
- Having a spa or sauna
- Getting a manicure and/or pedicure
- Doing crafts
- Taking a night off cooking
- Outsource things, reduce stress and overload to create more time for yourself:
- Get a gardener
- Hire a cleaner
- Ask a friend to pick up the kids from school
- Use before and after school care
- Arrange car pooling with other parents for things for your kids
- Setting boundaries by saying ‘no’ more than you say ‘yes’
- Create lists for yourself to help you manage your tasks, and delegate some of those things to other family members such as partner, kids, friends etc.
The best gift you can give to others, is to give time to yourself, for yourself. The more of this you do, the more you are then able to give to others. And the longer you will be around to give and care for others. You will be surprised how much better you will feel, and how much more motivation for life you will have.
This, collectively, will help you reach your full potential in anything you desire.
You will feel more motivated.
You will follow your heart more.
You will find your joy.
You will live your life, your way.
And you will give more, as a result.
Remember, the more you take, the more you have, the more you can give.
Exercise SELF-CARE today!