Faith - Is it Selfish To Take Time for Yourself?

Is it Selfish to Take Some Time for Yourself?

By Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC

People who are overworked, overwhelmed, or over-burdened need times where they can have a stress-free zone and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. God never intended for anyone to live under constant strain from the pressures of life. Living in a constant strain will break the strongest of people.

You may know you need some time to pull away from the pressures of life by the following signs:

  • Restlessness/mind-racing
  • Fatigue
  • Negative thinking
  • Anxiety
  • Discouragement
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of joy
  • Inability to laugh
  • Unable to enjoy the simple pleasures in life
  • Low or no libido
  • Little or no motivation
  • Productivity at work suffers
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Difficulty staying or falling asleep
  • Take life too seriously
  • Difficulty concentrating or staying focused
  • Aggravation/irritability
  • Anger
  • Desire to escape or go back to old habits/addictions

If you have (5) or more of the above signs, TAKE ACTION NOW! You may do irreversible damage to your physical and/or mental health if you do not begin to clear out the stress.

There are many ways to de-stress from the tensions in life. 

The first thing to do is make your physical and mental health a #1 priority. If you are exhausted, do not take on anymore heavy or burdensome projects. Create a simple life and cut out the excess. While getting your body, mind and spirit back in balance, do not add more to your schedule, but instead keep your schedule very light and as calm as possible. Running around from one event or activity is not calming, and will create more stress.

You will need to establish at least one place that you make into your calm place where stress is minimal. If your work environment is hectic, having a peaceful and quiet home will be important. Everyone needs a safe and stress-free zone. Plan a get-away or have a staycation. Staycations can be the best; this is where you can watch movies all day if you want and not pick up your phone.

Being around others who have loads of problems they dump on you, will only increase your stress. You will need to back off from relationships that are emotionally draining until your body and mind are back in balance and harmony. You must say, “No,” to anyone who violates your space, energy and resources. Those that violate your times of rest lack in boundaries and are perfectly okay with invading your need of relaxation. Many people end-up giving into the demands of others even at their own expense because they do not want to disappoint anyone. The reality is disappointment is a part of life, and you will not always get everything you want.

Take the time to replenish your mind, body and spirit as often as needed without the guilt! 

Scan your body and listen to your thoughts, is there anything that seems out of balance (review the signs in this article)? These signs are indicators you are out of balance, and if you continue at the rate that you are going you can have serious complications now and in the future. Our bodies and minds are not built to endure high levels of stress. You must become vigilant in removing what is destroying your health, whether physical or mental. Getting back to the simplicity of life will restore your soul. We were created for times of rest, joy, play and work; not stress, work, and more stress.

So, is it selfish to take time for yourself and replenish when needed? Absolutely not! In fact, if you do not, you may suffer from depression, anxiety, addiction, divorce, cardiovascular diseases and heart problems, hormonal imbalances (for women), gastrointestinal problems, headaches and/or fatigue.

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