Making you your first priority is a significant challenge for many people. There are some people that will stop at nothing to help or please other people. We call these people selfless and praise them for devoting themselves for others. And while it is a great quality to want to help others, people who spend no time on or for them are often left feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied.
Spending time on you does not make you selfish. In fact, it is the opposite of selfish. Making yourself a priority, while still finding the time to help others, means that you care enough about the other person that you recognize that you need to be in top working condition in order to help them to the best of your ability.
Here are 3 reasons why you should make yourself a priority.
1: The way you lead your life is an example to those around you
This statement is something that we hear about often. We teach our eldest children to “set an example” of behaviour for the younger children to follow. We teach children to do the right thing, and, by doing so, set an example for friends and family around us. Leading by example can be powerful, and create a positive impact, but only if we learn that everything that we do becomes the example to follow. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, how can we expect those around us to take care of themselves? If you are so tired because you don’t have any extra time to take care of yourself because you are busy taking care of everyone else, how can you expect to do a good job of helping others? Your mind might be distracted, you might be unfocused, and simply might not have the energy to help at all.
2: When you lead a balanced life, it will positively impact those around you
When you meet someone who really has it all together, you feel empowered by their mere presence. This is because when someone is leading a balanced, healthy lifestyle they are energized, enthusiastic, and generally fulfilled. They’ve made themselves a priority. If your life is balanced in all sectors, including mind, body, and spirit, you will feel fulfilled, like nothing is lacking in your life. This feeling of fulfillment typically leads to happiness that others around you can sense.
3: On planes and in life, it is important to put your mask on first
This example is a good way to get point number 1 to stick out in your mind. To some, it may seem counterintuitive to put your mask on before helping a child, disabled individual, or senior put on their mask. They can’t help themselves, so it is up to me to do it. But if you don’t put on your mask first, you deny yourself the oxygen that is what enables you to help the person beside you in the first place. In effect, to be of any assistance at all, you must necessarily be “selfish” and put yourself first. So, put yourself first, and allow yourself to breathe in the oxygen that you need before you help others.
Putting yourself first isn’t easy for some people that have made a habit of putting others first.
Here are 4 simple tips to help you make yourself a priority.
1: Decide That You Deserve Some Time for Yourself Each Day
This begins with the conscious decision to value your mental and physical health. Remind yourself that you are important too, and that without the proper rest and recovery, you can’t be the best version of you.
2: Decide How Best to Spend Your “Me” Time
Not everyone has the same idea when it comes to how to unwind. For some it’s exercise, while for others it is cooking. Others might enjoy spending some time alone reading, or having a quiet cup of tea. Whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed, take some time each day to spend on yourself. It can be as little as 10 minutes a day. Start by making the conscious decision to schedule in some “you” time everyday.
3: Learn to Say No Without Feeling Guilty
For those that are in the habit of helping everyone that they can, saying no can cause some undue guilt. It can be hard to say no, but remember that you need time for yourself too. Before saying yes to helping someone, ask yourself if the benefit of helping is greater than the consequence of saying yes. That means that by helping you aren’t negatively affecting your life.
4: Ask For Help
Those who enjoy helping others are often the ones who are the least likely to ask for help. It is important to remember, though, that asking for help is not the same thing as admitting defeat. Everyone needs help at some point or another, it simply makes you human! If you feel like your drowning, ask for a lifeline. Chances are that someone in your life has been waiting for you to ask, and will jump at the chance to help out.
“Life is meant to be embraced, enjoyed and fully lived, not merely endured!”
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