I consider myself to be a selfish person. Don't get me wrong, I love helping others and I do so as much as I can but my number one priority is ultimately me. You see from past experience I've learned that if I spend all my time serving others, (and there's been periods in my life when I've done exactly that!) I neglect my own self care and I actually become less tolerable to be around. Selflessness is an amazing and important quality to have but if you constantly drop everything in order to please others, this will eventually affect not only your mental and physical health but also the health of your relationships.
There have been periods in my career when I've felt uncomfortable saying no to new clients so I'd take on too much work and not allow enough time to focus on my own health. Not only did I not have the time to look after myself but I was exhausted from long days of working with clients so I had no motivation to even look at another exercise plan once I finished my work day.
I felt as though I was doing the right thing by saying 'yes' to everyone but I was really doing a disservice to my clients by taking on too much. No one benefits from a lethargic and unenthusiastic trainer who hasn't slept properly or had time to exercise in over a week. We need to look after ourselves in order to look after others in the best way we can. Now I make it a priority to exercise most days and I don't book anything else into my diary during that time slot. My one hour of exercise a day is my 'me' time and I absolutely need it to be a good personal trainer and an even better human being.
There are some things we "should" do as grown ups and sometimes we just need to suck it up and get it done! Helping a friend or family member in need at the expense of your own plans can be the right thing to do but if you never put yourself first, the end result will always be resentment. It's okay to say no, even to the people you love, it's okay to take a break from things that weigh you down and it's okay to put yourself first because these acts of self love will allow you to care for others in a bigger and bolder way!
I believe there are two things we need as human beings; belonging and contribution. If every decision made is with only you in mind, you will lead a lonely and unfulfilled life so we need a mix of selfless and selfish acts to create balance. The more you look after yourself, the more you will be compelled to look after others but set some boundaries and listen to your gut. Your happiness is just as important as the happiness of your friends, your clients and most importantly your kids. You are worth it.
Here's to a happy, healthy and balanced you,