Many people hear me say put yourself first and wonder why I’m asking them to be so selfish. I, too, was raised to think that everyone else’s needs and wants should come before mine but I finally learned that I wasn’t serving anybody very well by just doing that. Putting yourself first is all about self-nurturing your own well-being so you can live a vibrant life and really be present in the most positive way for those around you.
When you are selfish, you are typically devoted to ONLY your needs and many times that selfishness causes harm to others. And, being selfish does not mean one is actually taking care of oneself either. Conversely, self-care is crucial in being healthy, being happy and being there to enjoy your time with others as well as caring for them.
How many times have you been on an airplane and heard the flight attendant say, “If you are traveling with a child, put your oxygen mask on first and then place a mask on the child”? That still strikes me as strange every time I hear it; however, it makes perfect sense that if you don’t take care of yourself first, you may be of little help to others; and such is life!
Throughout my years in the medical field and as a healthy living coach, I have observed people from all walks of life drive themselves into physical illness, emotional fatigue and even mental depression by putting themselves last. It’s a repeating theme in our society to run the kids all over town, hold down a job and take care of the home with little or no downtime. Add caring for a sick loved one to the mix, as happened in my family, and you really wear yourself down without proper attention to your own well-being.
Another area that gets overlooked often is those looking to fill voids by seeking relationships that can only play out with the same results time and again. You have to learn to truly love and accept yourself before you can enter an honest relationship with someone else. You will avoid unnecessary stressors, conflicts and misunderstandings for yourself and the other person.
So, how can you put yourself first so you are truly present in your relationships, successfully achieve your goals and can stay focused on your dreams? You have to start by allowing yourself to take time to enjoy the things that are most important to you. Whether it’s a favorite hobby, listening to music or just spending time walking the dog; it doesn’t matter, as long as you make it a priority somewhere in your schedule to just nourish YOU.
Nourishing your body with what it needs to stay strong when life’s challenges come up and keeping yourself in physical and emotional well-being is also paramount. This means eating plenty of fresh whole foods, staying hydrated, being physically active and getting adequate rest and relaxation. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and focus your thoughts on the things you do want in your life instead of what you don’t want.
Meditation is very effective in nourishing your whole being. It helps to reduce the stress in your life and gives you the ability to greet the day with a calm, refreshed attitude. It increases your energy levels and helps you to connect with your authentic self. Meditation is one of the simplest practices I know, yet the benefits can affect your entire life in amazing ways.
Remember, you are just as important as anybody else. Put yourself first in terms of greater self-care and watch how much nicer your life flows!
If you’d like more information on how to truly start putting yourself first, then click here to meet Lisa and learn what living a happy, healthy life on purpose is all about!