When was the last time you really put yourself first? If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a career, a house, a partner, a full basket of washing and kids – and you’ve slid down the list of importance. You say things like “I don’t have time to do things for myself” or “the kids are the centre of my world” – but it’s time to start putting more emphasis on your own needs. Here’s why…
What it means to put yourself first
As women, we’re not that great at prioritising ourselves. We spend so much time worrying about the happiness of everyone else. Then there’s the guilt. How can you possibly focus on your needs when everyone else needs you more? You’re selfless – and this is how women should be. Right? Wrong! Putting yourself first needn’t be an impossibility, nor does it mean going to narcissistic extremes. It simply means finding time to do the things you love.
Experts say when you put yourself first, not only do you maintain your mental and physical health – you boost your energy, enthusiasm, motivation, performance and productivity.
As with most important changes, learning to put yourself first doesn’t happen overnight. But these tips will get you on your way.
Make a list: There’s something kind of solidifying about putting things in writing. So take a moment to list the top five activities that make you happy. If it’s been a while since you’ve done them, it’s time to put wheels in motion.
Make time: Speaking of those wheels… the only way to prioritise you is to schedule some “me” time. You may need to leave work early, get a babysitter or book a weekend getaway. So carve out time in advance and stick to it.
Make up your own mind: Being a generous, compassionate person is a wonderful thing, however if you get caught in a cycle of saying “yes” to everyone’s needs then you’ll end up neglecting your own. The key is creating a harmonious balance between work, family, relationships and your own personal time. And learn to say “no” when really required.
Remember, putting yourself first doesn’t make you selfish, a bad mum or wife, or employee. It simply contributes to a more balanced being, including a healthier mind, healthier body and healthier relationships.