7 Tips to Help You Put Yourself First

When we talk about putting ourselves first, it tends to come across as selfish or arrogant, but it’s time to change the narrative. Putting yourself first is as much about giving back as it is self-care; after all, in airplane emergencies they teach you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs, for the simple reason that you can’t help others if you’re incapacitated. The same logic applies to our day-to-day: we need to make sure our needs are met, before we can be a resource for others. Read on for the tips to help put yourself first, because your health and happiness depend on it.

1. Get Up Early

This might sound preposterous but giving yourself an extra hour or even half hour in the morning can change your entire day – yes, we do mean refraining from hitting snooze, but bear with us here. It sets you up for a productive day by helping you feel less rushed and stressed, but it also gives you time to do an extra activity in the morning that might make you happier and more prepared to take on the world, like making a healthy breakfast or reading the newspaper with your coffee.

2. Make Time for Exercise

When we get crazy busy, exercise tends to be the first item on our to-do list to get scrapped, but this is the perfect example of not putting yourself first. Exercise keeps you healthy, energetic, and gives you an outlet for stress, which makes it not only beneficial for you but everyone around you too. It’s not always easy to carve out that 45 minutes to an hour, but treating your workout as a non-optional activity will help you meet your goals for a healthier, happier you.

3. Make Time for What Makes You Happy

This sounds pretty obvious; of course we do things that make us happy. But how often do you find yourself skipping girls’ night because you’re tired, or cutting your evening walk short in order to get some more work done? There are only so many hours in the day, but not leaving room for the things that make you happy will only make you more and more miserable as time goes on. We can do better than that.

4. Eat Healthy

You might not realize it, but eating healthy is indeed putting yourself first. It’s not easy to say no to ourselves when we’re craving something unhealthy or want to treat ourselves, but fueling our bodies with healthy foods and balanced meals pays us back exponentially. We feel more confident, more energetic, happier, and we’re better prepared to tackle the day. Make it simple to eat healthy with BodyRock meal plans that take the guesswork out of nutrition.  

5. Say No

Learning when to say no is one of the hardest things in life. Most of us are hardwired to want to please others and be well liked, so saying no can be uncomfortable and feel confrontational. Unfortunately, there’s only so many hours in a day (have we mentioned that yet?), so you have to ensure you’re keeping aside enough time and energy for the things that you need and want to do; like spending time with friends and families, working on your hobbies, and getting in your exercise and nutrition. This can mean your best friend’s sister’s third baby shower doesn’t have to be a priority for you, and that’s okay.  

6. Invest in Yourself

There’s never a wrong time or a bad reason to invest in yourself. In fact, it’s always the best investment you can make. Whether it’s enrolling in night classes or purchasing workout equipment to use at home, betting on yourself will always pay off and you should never let yourself feel guilty for it.

7. Set Alone Time

Whether you already love being on your own or would rather be surrounded by people 24/7, quality alone time is a form of putting yourself first. Setting aside alone time is fantastic at helping you clear your mind, plan, wind down, de-stress, and a whole host of other mind/body benefits. Alone time might take the form of meditation, but it could also be as simple as going for a long walk or cooking yourself a scrumptious meal. Don’t be afraid of your own company; it’s pretty awesome.


Even living alone there is a temptation to fill every minute! I developed an auto immune disease that got me placed on disability from my two full-time jobs talk about a shock. I knew it had to happen so I voluntarily dropped the first job as it was very physically draining I was registered massage therapist for many years And my main job during the day working with children with disabilities also became pretty much impossible so the school board offered to put me on disability So suddenly the two things that had driven my schedule most of my life completely stopped! but true to character I had quickly figured out how to be busy from getting up in the morning walking the dog coming back doing some cleaning and then I learned how to sew and then I learned how to knit, and then I got into some of my artwork I am an artist and then I decided I would learn how to refinish furniture so I began driving all over the place picking up bargains and bringing them home getting them ready to be spruced up fixed up and ready to sell. I even bought woodworking equipment so that I could learn how to make things like bookshelves harvest tables oh and I bought a woodburning kit and started hand crafting wooden frames for my paintings so that I could put detail on the frame relating to the person I did the painting for etc. and before I knew it I was arriving home at 8 o’clock at night In the summer many of those efforts turned in to completely changing a number of very large gardens on my three-quarter acre including making a walkway around the house using heavy granite slabs all different in shape Picking them up digging each individual shape putting them into place and moving to the next one backbreaking work but I didn’t have a single injury I dog out trees I planted trees I cut out a 20 × 40 square on the upper lawn dog out all the grass and created a new garden having grown every plant myself from seed in the nursery that took over my dining room And the dog needed exercise and attention The anti-refinishing laid dormant inside my garage which I had insulated and put up vapour barrier so that I could heat my developing workshop and woodworking Harvey without freezing to death in these Canadian winters Exhausting. somewhere in there I needed to grocery shop and clean my house! And I suddenly had more to do than I did when I was working two jobs ! And I finally figured out why people were saying they didn’t know how they fit and work before now I am not at retirement age but it sort of feels that way as I’m only eight years away but I always assumed I would work we passed the traditional age of 65 because I had a successful massage therapy practice and there was no need for that to stop nor my art. and I wanted to open an Etsy store to market my new products for dogs. Oh and there was the blog I have a super focus for a blog. as I was leaving massage therapy a 17 year career, I decided to start a blog about health fitness nutrition since in addition to being an RMT I have personal trainer accreditation And here’s the thing I love everything that I’ve listed above so what do I give up so that I have time to work out and so then I have time where I’m not fully engaged doing something so that I can do a little meditative yoga or simply sit outside on a summer day with a coffee and a book and just let my dogs run around on the property for exercise he doesn’t always need to be leash w and here’s the thing I love everything that I’ve listed above so what do I give up so that I have time to work out and so that I have time where I can just read and enjoy doing very little. So your post today was a really helpful reminder even for someone who doesn’t work full time that you can still end up so busy that you don’t make yourself a priority I have let my workouts l so your post today was a really helpful reminder even for someone who doesn’t work full-time that you can still end up so busy that you don’t make yourself a priority I have let my workouts lag Partly because of an injury to my lower back that I incurred doing Burpee’s (god I hate those things) but I am recovering slowly but surely and I really noticed the change in my shape having not been working out since February and I have started having problems feeling over exerted easily and my resting pulse rate is now above 80 although my blood pressure is low not to mention a few falls one in which I chipped a bone on my four head just at the ridge where your eyebrows says I may be facing surgery for that and I really do blame that I’m losing coordination and balance because I’m no longer as fit as I used to be so it absolutely has to be a priority ! Being too busy to work out has cost me my good health so I am going to start scheduling time for me and if the dog is nagging at me I’m going to put him in another room while I’m working out and at the beginning and the end of the day I am going to make time for reading probably that will be morning and before bed reading for 10 to 15 minutes before lights out And maybe meal planning so that I can grocery shop to be sure I have what I need for good healthy meals which I am always glad for. But I’ve been living on a diet of what’s fast that I can grab right now usually something pretty healthy I don’t shop in fast food restaurants ever Just the thought of this new adjustment that I want to put into my day makes me feel better I know it’s the right thing to do so thank you for the reminder to all of us that we are at our best when we look after ourselves first and then we can help those who need us Sorry for the very long message but that’s just how it came out Cheers BodyRockers!

Linda Campbell August 09, 2018

As always your messages come at just the right time! I love how simple your posts are and yet, very well written (this journalist is a chronic grammar snob). So thank you for putting yourself and your great advice out there.The part of “alone time” hit home. I often find myself not knowing how to not feel badly when someone wants to join me for a day out adventure when I’m traveling with a group, and often times allow someone to tag along. I usually end up resentful at the end of the day at them and at me because all I wanted to do was be by myself, but this is a perfect response!! Now I know what to say and not feel guilty!! Cheers. :)

Barbi Walker August 09, 2018

Its very good advice n positive message for happy days n life .

Nisha shinde August 09, 2018

Thank you for your positive and inspiring messages. I have lost my motivation to work on ‘me’, reading this is making me take a long look at what ‘I’ need to do to get ‘me’ back. Thank you

Carol August 09, 2018

Thank you for your positive and inspiring messages. I have lost my motivation to work on ‘me’, reading this is making me take a long look at what ‘I’ need to do to get ‘me’ back. Thank you

Carol August 09, 2018

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