Putting yourself first may sound like a simple thing to do, however, a lot of us struggle with this. I’ll be the first to put myself at the top of that list. I say this because it’s difficult to put yourself first at times. Society has reminded us time and time again that if you’re doing something for yourself instead of others that you’re being selfish so that’s what you continue to tell yourself. However, that’s not to say that you should never help others and do kind things for others. I want you to think about the last time you did something for yourself. Now, was it today? yesterday? last week? or last month? The answer should have been today. You should be doing one thing for yourself each and every day.
It’s only been recently that I’ve realized that I don’t put myself first for most things. Since then I have been actively trying to change that for my own wellness. I didn’t have a revolutionary moment or anything like that but instead I reached my point of exhaustion. There’s no one I love more than my friends and family, which means I want to help them in every way possible and even people who I am not close with. I like helping because I love, love, love, knowing people trust coming to me for things. I’m not afraid to acknowledge that I want people around me to like me and I am a people pleasing type. But, while I was saying yes, yes, yes to everyone around me I forgot to say yes to myself.
My point of exhaustion was on July 12th. When I say I was exhausted I literally mean that I arrived home from work at 5 and slept until the very next morning. From working 2 jobs, to saying yes to anyone to asked to see me, to eating out every day to be with friends, to driving and running errands for anyone who asked I had burnt myself out. This may sound not dramatic at all but for me this was a wake up call to start taking care of me. I wasn’t getting the sleep I needed, the proper nutrition, proper amount of water, was spending money left and right and wasn’t spending any time with myself. Every moment that I wasn’t working I was doing something else and getting to bed with only about 4-6 hours of sleep. To some that may sound great, “you’re always keeping yourself busy, never bored.” I have been keeping myself busy, but, in all the wrong ways. It’s important for your mental and physical health to take that time for yourself. You need to give yourself time to prepare healthy meals, take care of your skin, get 8 hours of sleep every night, and have some down time. But trust me that is much easier said than done but even doing those 3 things in a day is putting yourself first. You should never be sacrificing your physical or mental health for anyone. I know some people seem like the stars and the moon but at the end of the day only you can take care of you… and you want the best version of yourself you can be.
IT IS NOT SELFISH TO TAKE CARE OF YOU. IT IS NOT SELFISH TO PUT YOURSELF BEFORE OTHERS. IT IS NOT SELFISH TO PUT YOUR PHYSICAL, MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL HEALTH BEFORE OTHERS.
Like I said, all of this is much easier said than done and like myself, most of you may not even realize that you’re doing it. If you feel stuck here’s a few suggestions from personal experience.
Just a few ways to put yourself first:
- Read a chapter in your favorite book every day.
- Make your favorite cup of coffee/tea/smoothie every morning to start your day right.
- Take a 20-minute power nap to rejuvenate yourself once a day/every couple days.
- Make your bed every morning (this one may seem silly but by doing this you have felt like you’ve completed at least 1 task for yourself everyday).
- Listen to your favorite playlist every morning/evening on your way to work/school/life.
- Pick out one thing you love about yourself every morning (Non-physical or physical).
- Say NO occasionally. It’s OK to tell yourself and the people around you that you are taking on too much at once.
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