This is a guest post by Prudence Sinclair.
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
Good morning, lovely you.
When was the last time you put yourself first? Are you really racking your brain right now trying to think of the last time? If so, be sure to read every word of this blog post because it is directed at YOU.
Many of us have a need to be needed. We are taught growing up that it is our responsibility to take care of others. That being selfless is a virtue.
Some of us had younger siblings that were thrust upon us, and some of us had parents that acted more like kids, and so we stepped into the parental role early in life and we learned that other people’s needs were more important than our own.
And so we spend a good chunk of our lives always putting others’ needs before our own. At first, it’s not so bad. The people in our world really appreciate us. It feels good to do good for others, and we learn to define ourselves but what and how much we give.
Over time, all of this giving begins to feel not as good as it once did. While we give relentlessly to others, we can’t help but notice that not all (or any) of the people in our lives give quite as much back.
We begin to spread ourselves too thin. We say “Yes” when we desperately mean “No.” Instead of feeling good about giving so much to others, we begin to feel tired and resentful. Depleted. Completely worn out.
Can you relate?
Somewhere deep inside of you do you believe that your worth is entirely based on pleasing other people? Supporting them? Solving their problems?
Let me say something to you right now…
Besides your children, no one is your responsibility. Other people’s problems aren’t yours to fix. The world will continue to revolve if you begin to say “No” more often.
And most importantly… you have worth because you are YOU. Your worth comes from God, not from your good deeds. In order for you to really feel this worth, YOU’VE got to prove it to yourself by focusing your love and attention on YOU.
Shower yourself with love and good deeds.
Here are some ways you can start making yourself a priority:
Say Good Riddance to Guilt
I don’t know who invented guilt (besides mothers). Your first order of business is to stop feeling guilty for putting yourself first. The truth is, the more you put yourself first, the more you not only get used to it but LIKE how it feels, and that guilt will be a thing of the past.
Give Yourself Quiet Time Each Day
If you’re someone who has always put others first, you may not even know your own wants and needs. To get to know yourself better, be sure you allow yourself some quiet time ach day to just BE with yourself to think your thoughts and feel your feelings. If you are a busy mom or dad you don’t need to set an hour aside a day, but be sure to have 15-20 minutes of just you time. In this time try and breathe deep, center yourself and relax. Let whatever thoughts and feelings come and don’t judge them. Just experience them.
Take Your Power Back
Catering to others’ whims and needs for years required you to give up your power and control. It’s time to take that back. Understand that YOU have the power to change those things in your life that no longer suit you. YOU have the power to say no and the power to walk away from those people and situations that devalue you, exhaust you and bring you down.
Like Yourself More
Every day, find something about yourself that you really like. These things can be big or small. You may like your eye color, that you’re a good cook or that you have a great sense of humor. You may like that you are never late, are creative, or are patient with children. It doesn’t matter what it is, just find something and celebrate YOU.
Take Care of Yourself
To make yourself a priority you must make your HEALTH and WELL-BEING a priority. This means eating foods that are actually good for you (not processed garbage) and one of the best personalized vitamins for getting healthy, getting plenty of exercise and rest, and spending time with people who make you feel valuable just for being you. Even if you don’t have much time to exercise, a simple one and done workout everyday can still improve your overall physical and mental health.
Life is short. And it’s also long, depending on how you feel about things. And for BOTH of these reasons it’s important to spend your moments on this planet being kind to yourself and making yourself a priority. When you love yourself and take care of yourself, you will be in far better shape and able to love and help others when you can. And you’ll do so because you WANT to, not because you feel you should.