Selfish vs. Self Care

      40 Comments on Selfish vs. Self Care


I was having a conversation with someone the other week, when I started talking about how some of the thoughts I had are probably fairly selfish.

I enjoy my time alone. I enjoy being able to do what I want, when I want. I don’t want to feel pressured or guilted into hanging out with someone. I like to go to bed early and wake up early. I prioritize my health with the food that I eat and daily workouts.

She stopped me in my tracks. “What if we change how you’re referring to these things? How about you call it self care, instead of being selfish, because that’s exactly what it is.”

Mind blown.

Selfish: devoted to or caring only for oneself

Self care: care of the self

I think it’s easy to see how we can get confused and mixed up between the two, but as a single girl with no children or pets to care for, it’s okay that the decisions I make are for myself. My history shows how when the opportunity presents itself, I am a caregiver and I often put the needs, wants and desires of others in front of my own; in fact, in those moments, I often struggle to find the balance of including self care in my daily routine.

But there is a difference.

I know “self care” has become such a buzz word in the last couple years, but I do think it’s important to make sure we are all giving ourselves some time for us; some time to put our feet up, relax, or do something that makes our hearts and souls happy and fulfilled; something that allows us to take the stress that life constantly throws at us, and find a way to break free from it. Those moments are us choosing to be selfish, they’re us choosing to care for ourselves, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Today, I just want you to think about that for a bit and really let it sink in…


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How do you take part in self care?

Linking up for TOL.

40 thoughts on “Selfish vs. Self Care

    1. Katie Post author

      I think there’s a fine line and we all have to take a minute once and awhile and just make sure that what we’re doing isn’t being selfish, but know that sometimes, even if we are, it can be okay!

  1. Diana @ Live Lean Eat Green

    I use to struggle with taking care of myself and was such a “yes” person to the point where I’d just be exhausted not having fun anymore. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do and remembering it’s okay to slow down and say no sometimes.
    Diana @ Live Lean Eat Green recently posted…Crescent Mummy DogsMy Profile

    1. Katie Post author

      I feel like I’m more of a “no” person and want to find the balance between “yes” and “no”…so much so that I was thinking of doing my own ‘Year of Yes’ <

  2. Neely

    I say all the time eing selfish is important when referring to self care. You can’t take care of anyone or anything else if you aren’t putting yourself first.

  3. Jenn Bell

    This is a great post! I feel so many, myself included, get caught up on feeling selfish, even though we can remember that how can I help others be full if I’m not full myself. To help combat the guilt feeling, if I’m feeling really down, I allow myself the time to myself (watch a movie, color, etc). With my full time job + blogging schedule, I try to make sure I get enough breaks in + 2 hours to do what I want.

  4. Meg D. Gonzalez

    This is a great reminder! I often feel guilty when I take time to relax–like I should be doing something else. But it’s really important to take care of myself, because without being fit and rested, I won’t be very good at caring for others.
    Meg D. Gonzalez recently posted…Discover VeniceMy Profile

  5. Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

    Love this!! It is something that I struggle with too, but I feel like there is definitely a difference. I think that it’s self care to tell someone that you don’t want to do something for a night so that you can stay in, but it would be selfish to tell them that and then go do something else with someone else. That’s the way I always look at it. 🙂

  6. Charlotte

    I don’t think I could love this post anymore than I already do <3 Wonderful observation, Katie–and I'm glad your friend pointed this out to you so you could share it with us. There IS a difference, and it's important to recognize that distinction <3 And there's absolutely nothing wrong with self-care (OR being selfish! now and then) 🙂

    Charlotte recently posted…Meet Mary—author of An Address in AmsterdamMy Profile

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks, Charlotte!! 🙂 And yes, I agree, there is nothing wrong with being selfish from time to time, but we have to still understand the difference so we know when we’re doing one or the other.

  7. Jessie @ Just Jessie

    I love this post! As a single gal as well, taking care of myself is currently my #1 priority. However, I’m a very giving person and I care about the people in my life as well. I think it’s important to know the difference, but also to not be so hard on yourself, you know? It’s okay to love yourself, care for yourself and put yourself first sometimes. Being single, it’s easier to do it more often than not, but I’ve been in relationships before where I completely neglect myself and then have in the end, been unhappy. Love this – it’s a good post to really think about! 🙂
    Jessie @ Just Jessie recently posted…Screenshot it! #10My Profile

    1. Katie Post author

      Oh you hit the nail on the head! I often forget that I easily fall into a “caregiver” roll and want to take care of the person I’m dating and their needs often times well before and above my own and then it doesn’t work out and I don’t understand why because I did everything they needed me to do for them…except care for myself. It’s a mind blowing realization.

  8. Lucie

    This is a really nice post! 🙂 Sometimes, I have a problem to not be a people-pleassured and it leads to moments when I feel quite exhausted. But recently, I’ve started doing things that make me happy and also say NO.


  9. Michelle

    There is such a big difference between the two. I do love self-care so much because I have come to realize, if I don’t take care of myself then no one will.

  10. Niki

    I love this!!! I am in the same boat as you – single with no kids. I love my alone time and doing what I want but I do wonder sometimes if I am being “selfish” but since I teach school all day I feel like I GIVE a lot there. Thank you for this post!
    Niki recently posted…How to Face the Cold Weather Head OnMy Profile

  11. Emily

    I’m so glad you made this distinction, because I admit that I’ve definitely struggled with the balance. I don’t want to be selfish, but I do know that it’s important to take care of my body, soul, and mind, so I love that you drew this contrast! 🙂

    1. Katie Post author

      I won’t say I’m perfect and while I understand the difference, I still struggle with it everyday. It takes time.

  12. Jessica

    Love the distinction you make in this post. Self care is so important! Selfishness…. maybe not so much.

    1. Katie Post author

      ❤️I think we all learn the hard way sometimes, it’s just important that we learned such an important lesson.

  13. Kaley

    I think the only time that “self-care” can become selfish is when you use it as a regular excuse not to help or tend to others. Unfortunately even self-care can *sometimes become* selfish. I know a few people who do this and it hurts those they actually do care about.

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