There are enough hours in the day to take care of yourself and others. Is self-care selfish? Were you raised to prioritize others?
Not necessarily. Self-care will improve your health, relationships, job, and caregiving. Start prioritizing yourself today with these easy steps!
Why Don’t We Prioritize?
Most women (and some men) were raised to prioritize others. ‘It’s more blessed to give than to receive’ and ‘Only by giving can you receive more than you already have’ reinforce this.
Our culture values women as carers. 66% of US carers are women, and 30% care for two or more people. Due to national and company parental leave programs, women are more likely to take leave and be the primary carer. In the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, 28% of women with under-18 children left the workforce, compared to 10% of men.
Women are expected to put others first, but doing so may not benefit you, your family, or your loved ones.
If you have flown, you know to put on your oxygen mask before helping others, even your child. Passing out means you cannot help anyone but yourself.
The same as in your daily life.
Happy, healthy, and energetic people can give more. You will inspire others to be kind and supportive by prioritizing yourself.
What do you want others—your daughter, partner, date, friend, or co-worker—to think of you?
They are a doormat who exhausts themselves trying to please others.
They are happy, loving, and energetic. They respect themselves and support others.
Putting Yourself First is a Must
Self-care requires a mindset change. Self-reflection. It’s to teach you how to make yourself a priority so you can be your best. You know, later rarely comes.
- Are you prioritizing yourself? Why not?
- Are any of the limiting societal beliefs discussed earlier telling you that prioritizing yourself is wrong?
- Do you think it is impossible with everyone’s (or your own) expectations?
Change is required. Make yourself happy, loving, and energetic. The self-respecting, supportive person.
Make yourself a Priority in a Relationship
Respect underpins healthy relationships. Respect is not always agreeing, never fighting, or always pleasing. You respect each other as people. It means you accept that people have different opinions, experiences, and needs.
In the relationships you have, do you feel respected? If not, prioritize yourself.
You and others may feel uncomfortable. Remember that everyone worth having in your life wants what’s good for you. Still, many people are averse to change, so an initial bad reaction should not deter you from making changes. They will see the good soon!
Take it Easy
Do you feel like you got a longer, unachievable to-do list? Cut everything that is not a priority to make yourself a priority and stop being pushed down the priority list.
Avoiding distractions is the key to prioritizing yourself.
Stop Doing Unimportant Things
Plan your day.
In the end, it is all about remembering to love yourself. Respect yourself, and others will follow suit. Do not settle for anything less than being a priority. You deserve it!