"She always puts others before herself." Remember when that statement was considered an accolade?
Mothers were lauded for total devotion to their children, friends earned ‘best’ status by including you in every single one of their plans, and anyone who offered a metaphorical leg up to the detriment of themselves was immediately characterised as kind.
As for those on the receiving end, a mere ‘thank you’ wasn’t enough. How could you possibly just accept such generosity? In the words of Kevin Spacey, ‘pay it forward’. Forget about what you want, and focus on pleasing others. Cue the rise of FOMO, exhaustion, depression and anxiety.
Today, the notion of me-time being narcissistic has been well and truly ditched. In fact, self-care has become something of a necessity. Sure, we’re still getting used to turning down that Friday night out in favour of a long bubble bath, hair mask and playlist of Peruvian panpipes, but we're doing it all the same. And guess what? It feels great!
Still concerned 'self-care' might be selfish? Then consider this: you’ve clicked 'attending' to every single invite for brunch, drinks, dinner and more, then your friend – the one who arranged 70% of said outings - asks you to come over for a night in, just the two of you. Do you jump at the chance for a DMC? Or do you secretly moan about never having a moment to yourself and come up with some sort of excuse?
Turn back the clock, turn down some of those gatherings, and free up time for a necessary injection of R&R into your life. Choose whatever makes you feel calm, relaxed and replenished. Maybe that's a massage, yoga, a hair zhush, or perhaps it's something that sparks a bit more adrenaline.
After shifting the focus onto yourself, you'll find it easy to prioritise other parts of your life, starting with that quality one-on-one time. We bet your friend will appreciate the change too.