“It’s not selfish to give TO yourself as much as you give OF yourself – Suze Orman
How often do you make time for yourself? Most of us take on way more than we can handle. We have so much to do and not enough time to do it. We stress ourselves out and are exhausted by the end of the day.
Many people find they themselves are way down their own priority list, which is one of the greatest roadblocks to healthy living. This is particularly the case for mothers and caregivers who are accustomed to putting other people’s needs first. They often have to deal with some pretty stressful and tough to-do lists! They frequently end up on the bottom of their priority list; prioritising everyone and everything before themselves.
I work with many women in a coaching capacity. They more often than not make everyone else in their life a priority before themselves, whether children, boyfriend/husband, boss, or friends. Feed the kids, and the husband, clean the house, do the ironing, do the shopping, help a friend who is having problems, chauffeur the kids backwards and forwards, and do a full time wage earning job.
Caregivers in a similar fashion have to ensure everyone else is happy and taken care of. Then find they run out of time for themselves. It gets to the point where they feel everyday they slip lower and lower on their priority list.
But it is when you make yourself a priority in your life, your life becomes much more enjoyable. So make today the first day that you decide to change that. Make the change and become a happier more well rounded you. Making yourself a priority is not selfish! It is a must do for your own self preservation.
Before helping others it is important to put yourself first in your daily life. You really need to ensure that you are taking care of yourself and your needs. While it’s true that consideration of others is important, looking after your own needs first will always allow you to look after others better. Your own happiness and health must be a priority in your life. How do you effectively assist in bringing happiness to others if you are lacking in it yourself? Your own happiness must be your first priority in life. Only by ensuring that you are happy will you be able to make a difference to any one else’s life. The old saying ‘you can’t give what you don’t have’ applies here in a big way.
You can’t take care of anyone else well if you don’t take care of yourself. When you make yourself a priority, not only do you benefit, but so do the people around you. If you are burned out, stressed out or overloaded, what’s left to give to others? For some, the idea of making yourself a priority may feel uncomfortable, but it is not a selfish act. I’m not suggesting you ignore or abandon the needs of others. I’m saying that you need to take better care of yourself and be the very best you can be, for yourself, and for the people in your life. You should not feel guilty for choosing to do so, as you are the most important person in your life!
It is time to make CHANGES! Choose to make yourself a priority! Here are some tips for making you the priority:
Tip 1 – Learn how to say “No” without feelings of guilt.
Don’t try to do everything for the people in your life. Simply saying “No” will free up some of your time and the person who asked you will find someone else to help them. You can’t take responsibility all the time.
Tip 2 – Cut out the things that drain you
What are you tolerating in your life that is draining you? Take a few minutes today and make a list of the items in your life that are draining and distracting you from working and accomplishing great things in your life! Now see how you can free yourself from doing them.
Tip 3 – Make “Me Time” a priority.
Begin by making a list of the things you enjoy, then make the time to do some of them. Make sure you make the time for it and fit it into your regular schedule. Determine how many minutes per day you can set aside to do something enjoyable just for you. Your “Me Time” should be as big a priority as anything else in your life. It will give you something to look forward to through those challenging days!
Tip 4 – Map out your day.
You can do this either first thing in the morning or the night before. Use a note book. Make a list of must do’s, should do, and like to do’s. Now Next to each write an A, B or a C. A is must do , B should do , C things that can wait but you would like to do. Make a list for your day. Include a couple of each. Include some ‘you ‘ times. Keep them short and spread out through the day, maybe 10 to 15 minute periods three times a day.
Tip 5 – Manage your time for your healthy lifestyle needs.
Do you manage your time or does your time manage you? Are you getting enough sleep and exercise to ensure that you are functioning at maximum efficiency? Do you get the time to eat three healthy meals a day. When people are tired or stressed, they are rarely effective. Try to change your schedule to make your life easier. Through out the day check up on yourself. Have your basic needs been met? Have you eaten? Are you thirsty? Have you taken your vitamins? Have you taken your scheduled you time ? We all know how easy it is when taking care of others to forget about taking care of ourselves.
Tip 6 – Have an evening out.
Go out and do something you love, gives you joy and excites you. Your evening out will help you become a better girlfriend, wife, mother, friend and enable you to function more efficiently at your job. Someone in your network will house sit for you and take care of those you are responsible for.
Tip 7 – Get up early.
Get up half an hour before anyone else in your family. Start your day with some quiet time. Maybe get outside and take a walk. You are making yourself a priority.
Tip 8 – Guard Your Mind.
Pay attention to what you watch, listen to, and read…Try to be selective and look to build yourself up and nourish your spirit.
Follow these tips and you will notice how much of an impact it has on your life. You will feel less stressed and be in a better state of mind in order to excel in your life and your confidence will improve too! When you are feeling great, you’ll then be able to better support your family and friends.
Be determined to make yourself a priority this year AND for the rest of your life!
Make Yourself a Priority!