Self-Care is Not Selfish



Treating Yourself.

A Moment of Indulgence.

Me Time.

We call it many different things, but many of those titles tend to diminish the importance and healthy aspects of setting aside ample time to engage in self-care. For many women, personal wants and needs take a backseat much of the time as heavy emphasis is awarded to the needs and demands of a career and family members.

There’s nothing wrong with that. A woman with drive and determination to excel and advance in her profession sometimes needs to forgo personal aspects in her life to achieve her goals and ambitions. Likewise, a woman who is raising a family knows that there are going to be plenty of instances when children require a singular and all-consuming focus as part of the nurturing process that goes into raising them to be contributing members of society.

However, the fact of the matter is that the cost of ignoring personal attention on yourself can come at the expense of your career and family. Neglecting to take some time removes a crucial defense against stress and burnout, which is a self-defeating measure.

In an article in Psychology Today on the importance of prioritizing yourself, Dr. Lisa Firestone noted when we feel drained, we have nothing left of ourselves to give to others.

“if we are kind to ourselves and considerate of our own needs, we are more likely to show up fully for the people to whom we extend ourselves,” Firestone said “otherwise, we may be going through the motions, but not engaging in a way in which everyone benefits ­– i.e., our kids feel nurtured, our job feels rewarding, our partner feels seen and our friend feels cared about.”

Conversely, we can deplete other when our needs are not being met, Firestone added, noting that children who see their parents as people who are fulfilled in themselves can benefit from both the devotion from the parents as well as the example set by them.

“This is true in all of our relationships,” she wrote. “If we don’t practice self-care and find healthy ways to meet our needs as individuals, we tend to have less energy, complain more, drag our feet, feel more resentment, and criticize ourselves and others, all of which can be draining to all the people we are seeking to benefit by setting aside our own wants and needs.”

Treating yourself, splurging, basking in a moment of indulgence or taking some me time: It doesn’t matter what you want to call it. The important thing is that you do it guilt-free. Not only do you deserve it but so do the people around you who matter the most.

Tiffany Dowling

Tiffany Dowling

Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at

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