5 Ways to Put Yourself First Again
You wear a lot of hats. Maybe you’re a parent, a student, or an employee. Maybe you spend your free time watching your sister’s kids, doing more work or catching up on long overdue household chores. You’re a mediator for your family members and the go- to shoulder to cry on for your friends.
Simply put, you’re busy and overwhelmed. When’s the last time you made time just for YOU?
I’m sure you’ve heard the classic expression, “Before you help others, you must first help yourself”.
You’ve just never really applied it… until now. Check out these tips for putting yourself first.
1. Make the time!You have a lot on your plate, and you’re not sure where you’ll find a single moment in your day to focus on yourself. It’s so easy to get caught up in whatever you’re doing and let the day pass you by. Pick a time and set an alarm on your phone. Then, when that alarm goes off, drop whatever you’re doing and set a timer: your only job until that timer goes off is to TAKE A BREAK! Start small with 15 minutes once a week, then bump it up to an hour, and before you know it, you’ll be taking time for you every day.
It’s not enough to set aside time for a break in your busy schedule; you also need to set aside time for the tasks you need to get done. Your never- ending to-do list can create stress and anxiety, whereas blocking off time for each task you need to get done ensures that you have designated time to focus on each thing. Try using an app like “Due- Reminders and Timers” or “Remember the Milk” to block time for all you need to get done.
3. Get comfortable with saying no
You’re not a superhuman. Why? Because they don’t exist! No one can do it all; and when we try, all we really accomplish is wearing ourselves thin. It’s okay to say no to that extra shift at work, or even to a night out with friends. If you feel like you need a break, listen to yourself. Say yes to your needs by saying no to everything else.
4. Set goals for yourself
No, I’m not talking about the New Year Resolutions none of us ever keep. What do you need in life? Make that your goal. Goals are what drive us and give us a “why”, and you need to remember your “why” – it’s the reason you’re doing all of this. It’s the reason you get out of bed every morning and decide to tackle the day.
5. Check in with yourself each day
Take a few minutes each day to ask yourself, “What do I need?” You know your needs, – you’ve just gotten used to ignoring them. Maybe you’ll realize that what you need is a nice bar of chocolate, a nap, or a walk – there’s no wrong answer. Once you acknowledge your needs, you can begin fulfilling them.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Adjunct Professor, and Certified Field Instructor committed to working with diverse groups of individuals, families, and communities.