For most of my life, I’ve felt guilty when I can’t give people everything they’ve asked of me. Consequently, I’ve said yes to a lot of requests that I didn’t actually have time for, or that made me feel uncomfortable or resentful. Sometimes I’ve given much more than I had to give, hurting myself and my relationship with the person I thought I was helping.
The first step to overcoming this guilt was accepting that taking care of myself is not selfish.
But what do I need to take care of? Everyone has common basic needs—healthy food, sleep, and social connections, to name a few. We also need to tend to what we value. For example, I highly value art, so taking time to tend to that area is important for me to feel that I am living a meaningful life.
Defining what I need to care for also helped me understand what I’m not responsible for. If I have the capacity, I can choose to lend a hand to a friend, but I’m not responsible for their feelings or solving their problems for them. So if I’m not able to give what someone asks? That’s ok – because I’m taking care of my responsibilities, and that’s enough.
Author: Mariana Weflen
Author Bio: Mariana Weflen is a comics artist and graphic designer who was born in the hills of West Virginia and now calls Columbus, Ohio home with her husband and one-eyed cat.
Link to website: http://marianaweflen.com