By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that when you put yourself first, you are in fact, not being selfish. And truthfully, others actually benefit when you make yourself your number one priority. So then why is it that some of us still struggle with tending to our needs and wants before the needs and wants of others? Why do we still say yes to things we absolutely hate doing? Why do we help others reach their goals before our own? And why do we let other people walk all over us or stay in toxic relationships that are way past their expiration date?
Everyday, we are pulled in a million different directions; from your family to your boss, the pulling rarely ever stops. It’s mentally draining and literally sucks the life out of you, leaving you little time for the things you really want (or need) to do.
In an article on Huffington Post, Emily Williams says that, “Part of putting yourself first is by making time for the things you love to do that truly make you happy.” And the second part, in my opinion, is realizing that you are an actual being that needs to be loved with great care, just like everyone else. You deserve to be loved as much as you love others!
But how do you begin to put yourself first and realize how amazingly badass you are?
Start by saying yes to you and set healthy boundaries that let people know you.come.first! Because you are only able to truly extend yourself to people when your needs are taken care of first. Recapture your happiness with these eight tips to help you completely and totally put yourself first.
8 Ways To Put Yourself First
Listen To Your Heart
You know the feeling you get when something isn’t right or something is off? That’s your heart calling on you to take action and get in touch with your inner self! Start following your inner nudges and listen to what your body and mind need. Act accordingly to find balance in your life again. Spend some time alone, away from social distractions, so that you can listen to your own wants and needs.
Carve out 10 minutes today to be with your thoughts. Notice what they’re trying to tell you. Is it negative or positive? If the thoughts are negative, talk it out like you would in any disagreement. Tune into your innermost self to obtain insight into your well-being and get to the root of the emotional issue whether that’s through journaling, meditation, or whatever helps you get centered.
Identify Your Energy Suckers
What unnecessary activities take up a good chunk of your time? Who do you constantly cater to, but never receive much from them in return? Dig deep, be honest, and really think about the tasks and people that drain you of your time and energy on a regular basis. Evaluate which of those are causing you the most stress and really consider their value.
Start thinking about what and who are actually worth your time. The ones that don’t add any value to your life, dump ’em! Or at least minimize their hold on you.
Make Yourself A Reminder
Somethings are easier to digest when you see them in writing. Scribble down a meditative mantra, an inspiring lyric or a silly quote. Grab some tape, and hang it above your bed. Keep this little reminder up the entire month. These words will be the first thing you see when you wake up, and your final thoughts before you go to sleep. I chose:
Most things can wait (Instagram, snaps of your dog wearing a panda suit, even new blog posts!). Cut the lifeline for a bit, and just spend your day in the moment with your wonderful self. See if you can make it an hour without looking at your phone, checking your email, or getting on YouTube.
Sit down. Relax. Read that book you’ve been meaning to finish. Take your dog on that much needed walk. Or go buy the supplies for that DIY project you keep putting off. Discover fresh sources of happiness.
*Side Note: I recently read this post on why it’s important to unplug and be present. Check it out!*
Make Time For The Things That Light You Up
This means scheduling “me” time, doing things that energize you and make you happy. What makes you feel better about yourself? What things matter to you most that you haven’t done in a long time?
Whether you enjoy an indulgent beauty routine or you like to center yourself with meditation in the morning, the better you feel about yourself, the better you will make those around you feel. Follow what makes you feel good and what naturally rejuvenates your well-being. Today I give you permission to “treat yo’ self!”
Say Yes To Saying “No”
Not being able to say no leaves you exhausted, stressed and irritable. When your free time is taken up with other people’s commitments, you suffer. How can you really make an effort towards self-love if you’re constantly doing things for other people?
Learning to say no can provide you with respect for yourself and from those around you. Keep your response simple and don’t feel guilty about telling someone no. The people who really care about you won’t take your “no” as rejection.
Set Healthy Boundaries
It’s extremely tempting to get lost in a relationship when finding yourself seems too daunting. But learning how to establish boundaries is essential to your personal growth. You must be willing to identify and respect your needs, feeling and opinions. Examine any loose boundaries (physical/emotional/mental) in your relationships and make them crystal clear. This process allows your true self to emerge. Make a concreted effort to maintain self-awareness so you can embrace positive people and ward off the negative ones.
Be Kind To Yourself
You don’t have to justify enjoying something or indulging in the things that bring you joy. Stop striving to live up to the expectations of your peers. Work hard to achieve the goals you set for yourself and become responsible for your needs. Conquer your fears of failure, and decide that you’re going to continue on this journey of self-love. Be exactly who you want to be and do whatever your little heart desires.
Putting yourself first is teaching you about trust, intimacy and interdependence and enhancing your understanding of your own psyche. Although clarity is elusive, you might use this month to process the slow, subtle metamorphosis of your self-identity and your shifting perception of reality.
This month is about YOU! It calls for optimism, faith and growing awareness of all that life has to offer. Embracing loving experiences, ideas, beliefs and people will open up new doors to you, allowing you to grow past the boundaries you’ve consciously and unconsciously set for yourself.
Get Started. Make yourself a priority.
Once you realize what you need to nurture your mind, body and spirit, take action! One step at a time. Know that you don’t have to be perfect, you just need to get started and try.
+Start penciling in your ‘me-time!’ What’s something you can do today to put yourself first? Let me know in the comments below!
Much love & good luck