Putting Yourself First

So much time out of our days is spent worrying about others, what they think of us, what they’re doing and every other concern. How often do you stop to check in on yourself during the day?! Ask yourself how you’re feeling, and what’s going on with yourself. As a people pleaser myself, I spend too much time focused on doing everything for everyone else and putting myself second. However, it’s sort of like on an airplane when they tell you to put your mask on first before assisting those around you. If you are not at your best, you cannot effectively be there for others. Putting yourself first is not as simple as it sounds especially for someone like me, a people pleaser. Here are some tips I’ve compiled to make sure you can be more easily focused on yourself on a day to day basis.

1. Rest and Sleep: One way that I’ve found to be helpful is getting lots of rest and good sleep. It’s crucial to recognize that in order to be your most present self and perform to the best of your ability, you need to allow your body to rest. It can be a lot of pressure when you see people on social media or friends and family in real life start their day at 6 am, staying productive and somehow working out five times before 11 pm... However, the truth is that this is not how everyone’s body operates. I know for me I need to be able to sleep in until around 9 am in order to have a productive day. In addition to sleeping the amount you crave each night, give yourself breaks throughout the day.Your brain needs pauses from working so hard. Remind yourself that you will get whatever it is you’re stressing about done. So let yourself believe that rest and sleep make you whole again and they are a generous gift we often forget to give ourselves.

2. Advocate for yourself: Learning how to say no is something I have always struggled with. I live with the fear that if I tell someone I don’t want to do something or that I can’t do something they will be angry with me. However, my mom has always told me this quote that I think back to when I’m struggling with these kinds of situations. “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” This helps me to see that the people who really matter in my life won’t be upset if I create clear boundaries. You must be able to put your needs first and if you don’t it will lead to burnout, fatigue, and frustration.

3. Prioritize what is important: It’s important not to spread yourself too thin by agreeing to do 900 things each day. Okay, that’s an exaggeration but you get the idea! Make a list of what needs to get done from most to least important. This will help structure days and keep you organized. Do what you believe to be most important and if you don’t end up getting everything on the list done, it is not the end of the world and there is always tomorrow for a fresh start.

4. Do things you enjoy: Lastly, don’t forget to do things that make YOU happy. Forget what will please everyone else today and take even 10 minutes to do something that will put a smile on your face. I try to find time everyday to get myself food or a coffee, sit in the sun, or watch a youtube video that will make me laugh. Spend time with yourself, you may just find that you are lovely company!

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