Everybody is talking about self-care, but for as much as we’re reminded that we can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves first, it seems to be the thing that people struggle with the most.
And we totally get it! You might feel like there’s not enough time in the day or putting yourself first may bring up feelings of guilt or selfishness. That’s understandable and totally normal . . . but putting yourself first doesn’t mean everyone else has to lose out on what you have to give. In fact, you’ll have so much more to give if you give to yourself first!
However, people often get so wrapped up in other areas that they slowly sacrifice their own needs.
So, how do you make yourself a top priority? Here are just a few of our favorite ways. Get started today!
1. Decide you deserve it
First, you have to decide that you deserve it. Remember those feelings of guilt we talked about before? If you constantly feel guilty for making yourself a priority . . . well, you’re likely never going to do it.
Recognize that you not only deserve to spend time on yourself, but you’re also a better [insert all of your roles here] because of it!
When we choose to invest in ourselves, that choice spills over into other areas of our lives. We are able to be more present – and happier!
2. Write down what you love + what makes you feel most alive
Think about the things that light you up – that make you feel excited, happy, and inspired. What are those things . . . those activities . . . those people?
Make a list and refer to it often. When life is feeling out of balance, turn to this list and consider what might be missing.
3. Practice positive self-talk
Did you know that our brains have a natural negativity bias? If we’re not careful, we are prone to focus on the negative. Simply put, it requires more effort to see the positive.
According to Psychology Today, “it takes frequent small positive experiences to tip the scales toward happiness.”
We all have an inner critic but it’s important to watch out for this negative voice. Instead, create a habit to start your day with positive and encouraging self-talk in the mirror. We cheer on our family and friends – why not be our own biggest cheerleader?!
4. Block time for yourself on your schedule
Now it’s time to brainstorm ways to re-prioritize. How can you open up time to tend to your own needs and wants? Are there areas of your life where you’re wasting valuable time that could be spent re-energizing you?
Can you set your alarm earlier each day for some quiet, quality time with yourself? (This one goes hand in hand with going to bed earlier!) Can you fit in a manicure or call a close friend while the kids are at soccer practice? Can you block off time every Sunday to spend on a few of the things you listed out in step two?
Get creative and think of the different ways you can re-focus yourself on yourself. This doesn’t mean you need to ignore everybody else. Just make sure you’re balancing your time – as best you can, no one’s perfect! – to allow yourself the time and space you need to relax, reflect, refresh and go after those things that are most important to you in life.
Pro-tip: If self-care is tough for you, start small. Schedule 15 minutes to read that book you’re loving or go for a solo walk during your lunch break – but definitely start. Recognize how good you feel. Then build up experiences where you rejuvenate yourself more frequently!
5. Put down your phone
Detach from your devices! Build new habits and digital boundaries that enable you to fully disconnect. When it’s time to focus on YOU, turn off your phone or set it in another room to charge. Be present and enjoy the moments that you have set aside for yourself!