There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for other people. Because in the end you will get tired of swimming and sink.
It’s often all too easy to get into the habit of putting others first – whether we genuinely feel like doing so or not. In many cultures, people are praised for being selfless even when it causes them to feel unhappy and unfulfilled. But what about you? What do you want in order to feel whole, rooted, and full of life? The next time you’re asked to add something onto your plate, remind yourself of that video you have to watch when flying on a plane: you are instructed to put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others.
Changing the world starts with changing yourself. Putting yourself first can actually be the best thing to do to help others. Go ahead, give yourself permission. It’s not about selfishness, or generosity. It’s about self care. Become a priority in your life. Invest in yourself wisely.
Signs You Have a Healthy Relationship with Self Care:
- You are by no means afraid to say no.
- You make time for yourself daily.
- You unapologetically speak your feelings and opinions.
Signs Your are Putting Yourself Second (Or Last):
- You feel tired all the time.
- You feel overwhelmed, irritable or stressed.
- You lose interest in activities you used to enjoy.
- You are not getting enough sleep.
- You compromise your needs to help someone else.
- You are afraid to ask for help from others.
Our to-do list gets the best of us.
But here’s the thing – you have the power to make that list whatever you want it to be. Here are our suggestions:
- Schedule “you” time at least once a day: Whether it’s meditating, yoga, taking a relaxing bath or going on a walk, find something that gives you joy. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day, stick to it and don’t let anything take priority over it. You are important!
- Learn how to say no: You can’t take on everything, nor should you. Saying no gets easier with practice. And the world will not fall apart – it surprisingly can go on just fine without you doing everything for everyone!
- Speak Well of Yourself: Be mindful of how you speak of yourself. Recognize your worth and importance, and others will do the same.
- Just Do It: make a list of things, simple pleasures that you really enjoy, yet don’t usually give yourself permission to do. Now go do one of them today.
Remember that putting other people’s wellbeing and happiness before our own is not always the answer. It is not selfish to put your own needs first and it certainly does not mean that you only care about yourself. And anyways, since when is it a bad thing to go after, with intention, creating a life that you want, filled with things that fulfill you?