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The Difference Between Self-Care and Selfishness

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

Self-care is the practice of taking care of yourself. It is meant to not only refresh your physical state but also help rest and relax your mental state. But one thing that I believe needs to be noted is that there must be a balance between self-care and being selfish. One must learn how to take care of themselves while also balancing their other responsibilities.

It is important for one to differentiate between being selfish and taking care of oneself. Being selfish means having a ‘me, me, me’ mentality where you only think of your own needs and have very little consideration for others. Being selfish also means that you worry about how much you can get for yourself, and this can be at the expense of others. Self-care focuses on taking the time to refresh or rejuvenate your mental or physical state to become a better person for other people. This way you won’t be angered or frustrated as easily. Being able to engage in self-care instead of being selfish means that you still care for others. You just want to ensure that your own energy and strength are in check so that you can then take care of others. 

         In order to help you understand how to balance the difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself, as stated above, you must learn the difference. This is not to say that you should not invest in your own self-care. It is important to take some time for yourself, whether it be reading something soothing or treating yourself to baked goods; you have to take time to replenish your mental juices. Otherwise, you may become drained and exhausted. This is just a reminder to be aware of your responsibilities in life while also taking care of yourself. It may sound difficult, but putting it into practice is actually quick and easy. 

Below are some examples of differences between self-care and selfishness provided from Tavco: A Behavioral Health Blog:

  • Self-Care: Getting adequate nightly rest
  • Selfish: Sleeping excessively to avoid responsibilities
  • Self-Care: Creating and enforcing healthy boundaries
  • Selfish: Saying “no” to every request for help from others (without a reason)
  • Self-Care: Making time for relaxation and meditation
  • Selfish: Isolating yourself and ignoring loved ones

Although it can be hard sometimes to get back into the swing of things, people have to learn not to over-treat themselves. That will be overriding the idea of self-care and ruining the fact that it is supposed to help them become better people in general.



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Amandine Soho

UWindsor '24

Amandine Soho is currently a writer at the Her Campus UWindsor Chapter. Her content typically focuses on global issues, entertainment, and personal experiences. She has been a member since 2021, using this opportunity to grow her writing skills. Currently, Amandine is a fourth-year student at the University of Windsor, majoring in Forensics and Criminology, with a minor in Communication, Media, and Film. She is also the president of the Caribbean and African Organization of Students, where she helps curate events for Black students to find an inclusive community that welcomes them, on campus. In addition, Amandine is part of the Mentorship in Forensics program that allows her to guide a mentee in their academics and current exploration of careers in forensics. In her spare time, she loves talking about everything and nothing, watching TV shows and movies, writing fictitious stories, and eating all types of food (except black licorice and eggplant). She doesn't know how but she hopes to inspire someone one day.