We’ve all ignored our feelings and needs and made excuses that we just don’t have time to deal with them. Like every other human being, we put others first, and then we use the time that is left on us.
The problem is that there is usually no time left. So, day by day, we give our best to help and please others, forgetting to please ourself first.
I know that what I’m saying is true because I’ve done the same.
Whenever someone told me that I should pay more attention to myself, I felt attacked because I believed that by helping others, I was helping myself.
It kind of works that way, but at some point, you just feel that there is no energy left inside of you.
I couldn’t remember the last time I did something for myself.
That book I wanted to read so badly had been sitting on the table for months. Every time I walked past it, I would tell myself, “Oh, I will start reading it tomorrow.”
Days passed by and I completely forgot about it until one day I was vacuuming and accidentally knocked the book off the table. It had a layer of dust over it and I realized that I still hadn’t started reading it.
I asked myself, “When was the last time I did something for myself?” and I honestly had no idea.
I always made excuses that I was too busy and that I would make time for myself later, once I had finished all of the other things that were on my checklist.
That’s why I hadn’t been out for a walk for months, I had no idea when was the last time I had read a book or gone to the gym.
After that, I decided that I would make some changes and that each day, I would dedicate some time only to myself.
If you are facing the same issue, here are the ways that can help you focus a bit more on yourself.
It is time to finally make yourself a priority, as you’ve been putting others in front of you for too long.
1. Take a part of the day you will spend on your own
We all need some time in the day that will be just ours. No matter whether it is fifteen minutes or an hour, the point is that no one bothers you at that time.
It can be in the morning, to decide what your goals for the day are, or before you go to bed, so you can unwind. Whatever you choose, you should always make sure that it’s you, your emotions, and your thoughts only.
Put your phone away and find something that can calm you after a long day, or to prepare you for a new one.
After some time, it will become routine and you will crave that time when you are on your own, doing what makes you relaxed.
2. Be selfish about your needs
Instead of always giving to others, make sure to sometimes give something to yourself. You shouldn’t feel guilty because you bought something for yourself or because you took a day off from doing things around the house.
It’s your life and it’s perfectly fine to make it about yourself. You can’t always fulfill the needs of others. You simply can’t!
There is no need to explain to others why you are doing something for yourself. We should normalize the idea that we need to be our own priority.
Until then, you will constantly feel torn between wanting to do something for yourself and overthinking how it would take away the time and attention you give to others.
3. Learn to say, “No,” to others
You can’t always be there for others, that’s a fact. Sometimes you won’t feel good, or you’ll have a bad day. Even in moments like that, why do you feel the urge to do things for others?
This constant fear that you need to please the people around you leaves you feeling drained and empty. That’s why you need to set yourself as a priority and learn to say, “No,” to others.
Just because you are used to always helping others and doing stuff for them, it doesn’t mean that you are supposed to do that. You have your own life to focus on.
It’s okay to help others and go out of your way from time to time, but constantly pleasing others and ignoring yourself is at the very least toxic.
It makes you feel like you are a puppet in your own life and that the control is not in your hands.
4. Feed your body and soul the proper way
This may sound weird but if you want to make yourself a priority, you need to feed both your mind and soul the proper way.
You are not showing yourself any love by eating junk food, which makes it even harder to activate and take control of your life. Food affects the way you feel, and that’s why you need to be aware of what you are taking in.
Besides your body, your soul also needs its ‘food’. Something that will erase the negative feelings and make you focus on the positive ones. Walking, running, hiking, yoga, reading – all of this can help you feed your soul and mind the way that’s best for you.
You need to be aware of the actions you are taking if you want your body to thank you later for them.
5. Listen to your feelings
If you want to make yourself a priority, you need to understand what your body is telling you. Listen to it and appreciate its emotions.
If you feel sad, don’t push yourself to do things you have no energy for. If you feel tired, take a rest. When you feel happy, enjoy it.
Once you start being synchronized with your feelings and emotions, it will be easier to know what the best thing to do is at any given moment.
You will understand what makes you feel good and the other way around. You just need to learn to listen and do things the way your body appreciates them.
6. Do everything you love
Don’t pay attention to the limitations others set upon you. That’s their problems and not yours. Instead, you should do everything that will make you happy.
Try all of the things you always wanted to experience as long as you know that you will feel better after them. If you want to make yourself a priority, your happiness needs to be the only standard for doing something.
Anything else isn’t important.
7. Be your own biggest supporter
You need to learn to be your friend and not an enemy. You spend time with yourself every day, seven days a week.
Do you want to spend that time with a good friend or an enemy that keeps putting you down? Of course, with a friend.
That’s why you need to learn to be your biggest support, and the one you truly believe in.
Don’t wait for others to give you a push in the right direction. Instead, be that person who screams, “You can do it,” every time you try something new.
8. Don’t bother too much about what people say
Caring about what others have to say about you doesn’t mean that you are making yourself a priority. It means that you are putting them and their opinions in first place.
You can’t control their comments, thoughts, or opinions but you can control the way you receive them.
You should focus on yourself, your life, goals, dreams, and wishes, and let others say whatever they want. That should be your priority.
Once you realize that, you will take the burden off your chest and everything will be easier.
9. Set your boundaries
If you want to be your own priority, you need to understand what it is that you can take and what it is that you can’t.
It’s completely normal to say that you don’t feel happy with sharing too much info about your life or that that you are not willing to give your whole self to pleasing others.
Boundaries mean that you understand the way you, your body, and your mind work and that you know what feels good and what doesn’t.
That will always be a positive thing.
The bottom line is that you need to make yourself a priority if you want to live a happy life. If you don’t do things for yourself, who do you think will do them then?