Why Putting Yourself First Is Not Selfish
Of the many rules I live by in life, an important one is to put myself first. By that I mean putting my needs, wants, and concerns before anyone else's. The trick however is to find a balance between caring for yourself while not portraying selfishness, looking out for yourself, but not seeming narcissistic. I think everyone should do the same without feeling guilty, and here’s why. In order to maintain a positive balance in life you have to make sure that you're able to function at an optimal level. This means keeping stress low, ensuring your emotions are in check, and maintaining excellent health.
With the frequent demands of life, we often try to do more than we're capable of by wanting to please others, and having a hard time saying no. This usually involves taking care of family, completing work assignments, trying to find time to hang with friends, and maintaining a relationship with your significant other. When we try to take on more than we’re capable of for an extended amount of time this usually means we slack off with taking care of ourselves.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed and exhausted with the many things you have to complete on your to-do list every week? Chronic stress can make you feel under the weather, and deteriorate your health. It becomes noticeable when your back begins to ache, that crook in your neck just won’t go away, and the migraine headache seems to get worse with each passing day. Stress can even cause you to become easily irritated at the smallest things. Nothing is worse than a moody person that doesn’t realize they are moody, or they somehow point the blame at everyone else. These are all classic signs of stress, often known as the number one killer when associated with hypertension.
If you don’t take care of yourself then how can others rely on you to continue doing your best? How will you be able to care for your children, to finish work duties, or accomplish goals? It’s important to set limits on yourself so you are not easily burned out, or overwhelmed. Trying to please everyone will leave you feeling unfulfilled, and exhausted.
When you say no, you learn to set standards, and you learn how not to spread yourself thin.
I have combined a list of things you can do to get back on the right track to caring for yourself:
1. Make time for yourself.
Be attentive to your needs, care for, and love yourself. Find things that make you happy, and feel at peace.
2. Ensure that your mind, body, and spirit are in tune with one another.
These three work together as a whole. When one is not up to par it will affect the others, so you have to care for them simultaneously. It's just as important to take care of your inner self as it is for your outer appearance.
3. Stay up to date with your doctor’s appointments.
Your health is important; this is what keeps you alive. Be sure to keep your annual physicals, well woman exam, dental, and vision check-ups current.
4. Maintain mental clarity.
Do something that gives your mind a break from being overworked. This could be having quiet time, going for a walk, attending church, exercising, reading a book, or doing something adventurous.
5. Get out of the house.
Have fun with those that make you feel good. Being cooped up in the house for too long can feel isolating and depressing. Don’t let life pass you by, instead take advantage of it, and enjoy it!
In what ways do you put yourself first? When was the last time you did something nice for yourself? What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?