Short answer: be selfish. Why, you might ask? Is not life better when shared and when you give yourself to others? If you put it that way, then yes the short answer would be to be selfless. But bear with me.
Since our childhood, we are educated to believe that you can only be happy when you say Yes to others: children are brought up to donate, to always smile, be kind and be the best form of human possible in the world. But the reality of the matter is that by always saying Yes you might make things smoother for a while, whereas in the long run you are solely and ultimately saying No to your needs, hopes and dreams.
I am by no means saying that you should then go ahead and neglect every request, challenge everyone else’s plans and just be overall rude. There was a time when I was extremely selfish and focused only on my well being as a survival tactic; broken farewells, sleepless nights and utter regrets in a steep falling spiral towards self destruction. A few steps down the road, and I am still selfish, just in a different, more healthy way.
To be selfless, you need to be selfish. There’s a difference between the simple availability to donate, and being able to listen, be altrustic, and give to your own accord. Sometimes even arguing is healthier if that ends up in a better understanding of both parties’ needs. In fact, being always available 24/7 will just increase your frustration and with time it will turn into a feeling of suffocation, the kind that feels as though you were running out of air. Building healthy relationships and finding your own path are not possible if you ignore yourself to please others, so please do listen to your guts and just go with the flow.
This is just my two cents on this topic, but I am sure I have left many interesting points out. But do go on and have some selfish, indulging, treat yourself time.