Giving Yourself Permission to Be Selfish

Summer is the perfect season for self-indulgence. Maybe it’s because we so often associate this season with time off. Or perhaps it’s the intense heat that slows down life in the desert and makes it seem we have all the time in the world. Whatever the reason, summer is a time to spoil ourselves a little.

But what if you’re the type of person who has trouble spoiling themselves? Maybe it’s hard for you to say “no” to others so your time is always taken. Maybe you’re a parent and you feel guilty taking time away from your kids. Or maybe you’re still learning to cope with gender expectations that tell you it’s selfish to take time for yourself. Here are a few tips to help you give yourself permission to take a little more “me” time this summer.

You Don’t Need to “Earn” It
You don’t have to put in a certain amount of work to deserve a rest. You don’t have to achieve every goal to be proud of yourself. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to celebrate life. Having fun, eating good food, surrounding yourself with beauty, spending time with the people you love – these are all the things that make life enjoyable! Everyone deserves to enjoy their life. Carving out time for that enjoyment doesn’t make you lazy, or selfish, or any other negative thing. It makes you a person who enjoys their life.

Constant Self-Sacrifice Isn’t Healthy
There’s a reason that the term “self-care” has made it into the mainstream in recent years. This term originated in the medical profession, as doctors, nurses, and other care workers realized that they couldn’t effectively help their patients if they themselves were too tired, hungry, or emotionally weary to do their jobs well. Society so often encourages us to take care of everyone around us but never turn our attention inward. Not only does this harm you, it sets a bad example for those you care for, especially young people. They absorb the message that the only way to help others is to neglect themselves. Allowing yourself to “selfishly” put you own well-being first isn’t only good for you, it sets a good example.

“No” is a Complete Sentence
You don’t need to apologize for saying no. You don’t need to justify saying no. You don’t need to feel guilty for saying no. You are allowed to simply say no something. That doesn’t make you bad, or mean, or selfish, or difficult. It makes you a person who sets boundaries to keep themself healthy and safe.

Yes, you are allowed to be “selfish” and put yourself first. You are allowed to do this because your health and wellness matters, because you are allowed to set boundaries, because you are allowed to enjoy life. And that last one is most important today. You have permission to be selfish even when it isn’t a matter of protecting your boundaries or caring for yourself. Sometimes, you are allowed to be selfish just to do something you enjoy. And that time, is this summer.