Why Me-Time Isn't Selfish
March 13, 2018
The season of new beginnings is upon us. With the arrival of spring, we shift from the hibernation of winter to an awakening and rebirth. Spring invites us to open up, delight in warmer days, and cultivate a spirit of aliveness.
Spring is the time for cleansing the body from the winter’s slumber. In the winter, we tend to get sluggish, so spring becomes the opportune time to shed heavier layers and clean the body of excess toxins in the tissues. We are naturally drawn to spring-cleaning our homes, and so we must also be inspired to spring-clean our bodies!
Take time for yourself this Spring. When it comes to yoga, meditation and even me-time in general, we can sometimes worry we are being a little selfish. Dedicating time to our own wellbeing can feel overly indulgent. Shouldn’t we be working, volunteering, or spending that time on our kids, partner, or friends? Maybe we should be focusing on changing the world rather than pursuing personal happiness. Women especially can feel guilty for devoting time to our own personal development, and so much cultural messaging reinforces our fears.
It may be cliché to say “you have to put your own oxygen mask on first before you can help others,” but it really is true. Practices like meditation give us the breathing room to calm down, de-stress, and understand ourselves better, all of which can make us much nicer people to be around. It’s often the inward-looking habits which help us understand ourselves better, and in turn, understand other people as well.
Some of us can even find that regular meditation increases our compassion, as we experience less stress and therefore become less fearful, irritable, and angry – negative emotions that can drive some pretty problematic behaviors.
Ultimately, self-care is about keeping ourselves as healthy and happy as possible in a world that can feel pretty hostile at times. It isn’t selfish to want or need coping mechanisms, or to pursue self-improvement. In fact, many of us want to improve ourselves in order to become kinder, more well-rounded people, and do more for the world around us. And if me-time is the thing that keeps our heads above water, then there’s nothing wrong with that.
-Bikram Yoga Hazel Dell