Putting yourself first
Putting yourself first is the key to improving your well-being. You probably hear this a lot, combined with the clichés of “always put your oxygen mask on first before assisting anyone else” or “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. It can be frustrating to hear these clichés all the time, but they are overused sentiments because they are true.
It feels to me as if we’ve “progressed” into busier lives and more automation, where we actually collaborate with each other less as a society, taking more and more responsibility on ourselves without ever asking for, or accepting, help. It seems very counterintuitive to aim for Superhero status, burning yourself out in the service of others, instead of asking everyone to pitch in and do their share.
There is some misconception that putting yourself first relates only to pleasurable activities like going out dancing all night, responsibilities be damned (just me? Ok!), but this isn’t the case at all.
Putting yourself first is definitely not about pleasurable tasks alone, it’s also about taking the time and mental space that you need to focus on your financial planning, getting your last will and testament finalised, attending doctor’s and dentist’s appointments (in the hope of not needing that last will and testament until much, much later), decluttering, health planning, future planning, meal planning, shopping, I could go on but I’m sure you get the picture.
Not taking care of your own needs is a form of self-abandonment and impacts your total well-being and ultimately your confidence, because you place more importance on other people’s needs, thus putting the importance of your life behind everyone else’s. You are important. In fact, in your life, YOU ARE NUMBER ONE; you get to prioritise your needs.
Putting yourself first actually helps you to make better decisions, based on what you genuinely want and need. You have to take care of your own needs to live a fulfilled life, which in turn makes you easier to be around, more relaxed and ultimately happier.
Sure, but I don’t have time…
I often hear this from my clients, but mostly they just don’t like doing things like working out and will say “I don’t have time”, so ask yourself “Am I sure about that?”. Sometimes a perceived lack of time can easily be resolved. If you hired a cleaner or housekeeper or driver or gardener or whatever you can afford – would that free up time? If you can’t afford it, what if you split the tasks within your household?
And then there’s those workouts – what if you hired a Personal Trainer to make your workouts more enjoyable, feel like less of a time suck and give you lots of accountability? If you can’t afford a PT, could you get a workout buddy to train with you?
When you take proper care of yourself and your holy trinity of body, mind and spirit, you become happier and you can take better care of others.
Then of course there’s the obvious, most people don’t like to feel like you live and breathe solely for them. It’s smothering, becomes overwhelming and will leave you running on fumes. What then? Healthy people want you to be happy and that involves tending to your own needs.
Since this month is about well-being here at Ahead Together, join us in making this month about putting yourself first.
What do you think?
What 3 categories of life need your full attention this month e.g. Finances, relationships, career, well-being, spiritual, personal development, family, fun?
What would make your life simpler and free up time to allow you to commit to something you have been putting off? Is there anything I can help you with? Get in touch.