When you make you a priority, it is not selfish, it’s a necessity. Valuing yourself and your time is important. When you start to make you a priority, you will find that you are happier, healthier, more productive, and feel more accomplished in life. If you take care of you, you can then be more ready and able to help take care of others. Just like the airline flight attendants always tell us, when the oxygen masks drop, first put the mask on yourself before you help others with their masks. The priority is you. If you do not take care of yourself first, you are not much help to others around you.
In order to make you a priority, you need to start with some basics:
- Don’t feel guilty about saying “no” from time to time. Sometimes we find that we are overstretched or doing things to please others that we really do not enjoy doing. If you are overworked, overwhelmed, or simply are not happy doing something, it may be in your best interest to say no and relieve yourself of unnecessary obligations that do not benefit you. It’s not about letting other’s down, it’s about building you up.
- Do what’s in your best interest. Whether it is your diet, exercise, sleep habits, or creative outlets, make sure you are getting in what you need to function at your best. If you fuel yourself with plenty of sleep, healthy foods, exercise, down time, etc., you will find that you feel better, have more energy, and enjoy your life a little bit more.
- Designate “me” time into your schedule. Add at least 15 minutes every day for you. Whether that is to meditate, go for a walk, read a book, work on an art project, or enjoy a cup of coffee in silence. Make it a regular part of your daily routine.
- Treat yourself to some self-care and make it a ritual. This goes along with the designating “me” time. Set aside specific times to work out. Find a fitness activity that excites you and makes you feel good. Whether that is lifting weights, running, dancing, playing on a sports team, or swimming. Designate a few times each week to some physical activity. Schedule yourself weekly or monthly mandatory “I deserve this” time. You might go for a walk or hike every weekend to calm your mind and reward yourself for a long work week. Schedule regular massages to calm your mind and to relax and soothe out sore and tense muscles. Buy a new outfit, shoes, etc. for yourself, or meet up with friends for a few laughs and a drink every month. Whatever makes you feel good, make it a habit to set up regular set times to take care of yourself and to show yourself some appreciation
- Commit to making you a priority. The “C” word can be intimidating to some people, but if you do not take care of yourself, who will? You need to set your priorities and make you a necessary item on your long list of things to do. You get 24 hours in a day, you can manage to set aside at least 1 hour for you. If you need to reorganize, shift tasks to another day, or maybe even delegate responsibilities to others to free up some you time, then do so. Life is not about being perfect, it is about balance. You need to commit to balancing your life to fit your needs.