When we are in need of what we are being asked to give, we lose ourselves, we feel spent and interactions with others become draining and may end badly. All of this is compounded with the stress that the holidays bring to many people.
It's not selfish to seek out your needs. Needs are requirements. But we aren't always taught to listen to our own needs, for fear of being viewed as selfish, uncaring or whatever else we believe people will think about us. Wants - things that aren't necessary, but which we still seek out - may be selfish at times if we lose sight of what we have around us for those wants.
Being able to identify our needs sounds easy, and for some it is an regular ongoing process. But for those who have been taught to deny or drown out their own needs for those of someone else, it is anything but.
In these days of overbooked, fear of missing out, and fast, faster and fastest everything, it's important to hit pause. Counterintuitive, yes, but what better way to listen than to give yourself the space to do so.
Pause may mean just sitting or moving in silence without multitasking. It's about stepping out of the fast lane to see if what you're doing is about you or something else. Pause may be more in depth such as journaling or meditating. Perhaps just saying "no" to a request or plans will give you the push to consider why you feel like you have to to do something and a chance to reflect on the lack of negativity by not doing it.
Saying "no", hitting pause and expressing your own needs is about maintaining boundaries with the people around you. It means you don't lose yourself in others and it creates and enforces respect in the relationships you have. If you lose someone in the process, there was a lack of respect and caring for you to begin with.
By all means, give and give to your heart's content this holiday season, but not at the expense of your own well being.