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.