Have you failed to make yourself a priority? People make it seem as if it’s the easiest thing out there when in actuality, it takes a lot of time to learn how to prioritize yourself.
You watch all these videos and listen to all of these podcasts but it’s still not easy. Others romanticize the idea of a life that you can’t live right now.
For whatever reason, be it your mental health or your financial situation, you just can’t live the life those people portray online.
What you can do, however, is live your own authentic life. Create habits that are sustainable for you and create a schedule that doesn’t involve millions of different activities.
It still seems like a lot, though, so you may feel overwhelmed with everything. When you’ve grown up next to people who would get mad at you for not prioritizing them, you learn that being your own priority is a sin.
It’s an awful thing when you have to unlearn these thoughts. You have to learn how to reinvent yourself in the sense of creating a life that suits you best, not to create it around pleasing other people.
Instead of draining yourself even further, we’ve compiled a list of things that are easy to do. You’ll make yourself a priority quite easily this way; you just have to understand that it’ll take time.
Why should you make yourself a priority?
Before we start listing the things you need to do to make yourself a priority in your life, we need to tackle the reasons why you should do it.
At some point or another, you may completely forget your goal. Something may happen that’ll stop you on your journey, so you’ll forget why you’re doing this and you’ll get side-tracked, but if that does happen, it’s completely fine.
You’ll have many ups and downs on your path to prioritize yourself over anyone else. You’ll have days when you’ll lose your focus and when you’ll have to remind yourself of your end goal.
Exactly because of that, let’s talk about why it’s worth the effort.
1. For your physical health
When you stop making yourself a priority, you also stop taking care of your body.
Your body moves you. It’s your vessel that helps your conscious mind create a beautiful life.
You can’t do anything if your body isn’t healthy. Your well-being is crucial and you should never forget that or undermine its importance.
When your body is constantly sick and tired, you don’t have any motivation to go on with your day. You don’t want to do anything but sleep and rest.
Also, exhausting your body can inevitably exhaust your mental health as well, which is anything but productive. It’s just not good for you.
Once you take care of your body physically, you’ll understand that your quality of life will increase drastically.
2. For your mental health
The biggest reason why we make ourselves a priority is to heal ourselves mentally. You can’t take care of any part of yourself if your mental health is bad.
People who suffer from anxiety or depression often don’t have the capacity to physically take care of themselves.
Even people who aren’t diagnosed with anything can be so mentally exhausted that they simply forget they have to eat, drink water, or move their body.
When you prioritize yourself, you also prioritize your mental state. When you’re mentally strong, you’re able to enjoy your life to the fullest.
You won’t be tied to your bed for days and you won’t have to watch life move past you while you’re completely incapable of moving yourself.
Your mental health is also directly linked to self-love and your self-esteem. The next time you actually start to question your motives, just remember that you can’t be confident if your mental state isn’t where it needs to be.
3. For your relationships
You can’t take care of others if you’re not your own biggest priority. Believe it or not, once you manage to make yourself a priority, you’ll be able to create much more fulfilling relationships.
In the process of loving yourself, many people will leave. They’ll realize that you’re not just going to put your own needs aside for them any longer and that’s when they’ll walk away.
There are so many toxic people around us that we don’t even realize it until the very moment we start to appreciate ourselves more. You don’t even see the way they drain you or the way they make you miserable and that’s because you don’t love yourself enough.
You’ll see the effects of your own self-love once you make yourself a priority. They’ll just start vanishing one by one, after telling you something along the lines of, “You’ve changed.”
No, you’ve just gotten more confident.
The right people will stay right by your side. They’ll never leave you and they’ll love you even more for the fact that you’re taking care of yourself.
When you get to this point, you’ll realize that you don’t need other people and you’ll stop putting so much pressure on yourself and on others.
Rather than that, you’ll create bonds and friendships that are more fulfilling and more authentic. You will want each other but you won’t be dependent on each other.
11 tips to make yourself a priority
Now that we’ve figured out the three main reasons why you should make yourself a priority, it’s important to make a list of things that you can do for yourself.
This will be completely focused on you and your own growth. This is not the time or the place to look for ways to be there for other people or how this can benefit anyone around you.
Right here and right now, we’re working on creating new habits for you to take care of yourself. You’ll have to make yourself a priority because everyone’s too busy creating their own dream lives and you have to do that for yourself too.
No one will make you their priority because everyone prioritizes themselves. That’s why you have to do this for yourself.
1. Create healthy boundaries
This is easier said than done, as creating healthy boundaries isn’t something we’re taught at a young age. We have to learn this from scratch.
Your boundaries should be completely non-negotiable. They’ll help you be there for yourself more often and they’ll help you make yourself a priority.
When a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s a clear sign that you shouldn’t be there, and when your boundaries have been violated, you’ll probably feel sad or angry.
Those emotions are characterized as negative but there’s nothing negative about them, as they’re there to protect you.
Your anger protects you from situations that may put you in danger. This doesn’t have to mean that the danger is physical, however, as it could be mental or emotional.
Your boundaries can include anything, like you won’t use social media after 10 pm or you won’t stay late at work no matter how much they may need you, simply because you need time to unwind.
You have the right to have boundaries. Even if people call you selfish for it, you have the right to set them.
2. Spend time on yourself
It’s good to spend time by yourself and it doesn’t mean that you’re lonely just because you’re alone.
We’re constantly bombarded with different information and when we’re surrounded by people every day, we forget that we need to take a look inside ourselves.
That’s why it’s so important to spend time on yourself. We spend so much time on the people around us that we’ve become numb to our own feelings and struggles.
Those same emotions will continue to pile up until they burst at some point but your me-time will help you figure out the emotions that are stirring inside of you.
You’ll be able to be more perceptive of your own thoughts and feelings, without the influences of others. Your me-time will be the reset you need to go out into the world the next day.
Make yourself a priority and go home earlier just to spend more time with yourself. If you can’t spend time with yourself and enjoy it, how do you expect other people to enjoy spending time with you?
3. Take yourself out on dates
I once heard someone say: “When we break up with someone, we miss them so much. We miss seeing them, spending time with them, going on dates with them. Imagine how much we miss ourselves then.”
This hit home for me in particular, because I missed myself for so long. I needed to spend more time with myself and on myself.
I can guarantee you that you miss spending time with yourself as well so because of that, don’t wait for someone else to spend time with you. Don’t wait for some guy to come around and take you out on dates.
You can take yourself out on a date! You’ll see just how much you can fall in love with yourself once you make yourself a priority.
Cancel everything for one night a week. Go get dinner by yourself or have a coffee and read and actually enjoy the time you spend with yourself.
We spend so much of our time waiting for someone else to take us out when we can do that by ourselves. Enjoy your own company and do whatever you want to do.
Have you always been dreaming about a romantic picnic date? Then take yourself on one; don’t just sit around waiting for someone.
You’re your own biggest priority, so never forget that.
4. Speak kindly to yourself
We don’t tend to make it a habit for positive self-talk. If anything, we talk quite rudely to ourselves.
We’re hyperaware of our own insecurities, so we forget to pay attention to the little things that make us special.
When you talk badly about yourself every single day, the effects of it will show. You remind yourself of your failures and your shortcomings.
When you walk past a mirror, the first things you pay attention to are what you consider to be flaws and that’s when your negative self-talk makes itself known.
Imagine how happy you’d be if those negative and intrusive thoughts didn’t exist in your head. Just think of what it would look like if you spoke kindly to yourself.
When you want to make yourself a priority, it’s extremely important to be gentle to yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a loved one.
Encourage yourself to move past hardships and tell yourself that you love yourself. Your friends aren’t perfect but you still love them, so you should love yourself as well.
Don’t think that you’re weird for saying these things to yourself. When you look at yourself in the mirror, please appreciate every curve, every mole, every single part of yourself.
No one is telling you that you have to stop being critical of yourself but you need to love yourself for the person you are right now. You can still work on yourself and love yourself unconditionally and don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise.
5. Stop feeling guilty for being selfish
You spend so much time prioritizing the needs of others that you completely forget to prioritize yourself.
You end up feeling guilty when you’re selfish, so you feel like you don’t have the right to be there for yourself when someone else needs your help.
If you haven’t noticed before now, people don’t really ask whether you have the energy to deal with their issues; they just load their own problems on to you and you listen to everything. You’re a good friend to them but are you a good friend to yourself?
What you have to do is shift your mindset. Remember that you don’t have to explain yourself or justify your actions.
You’re selfish and being selfish has never been a bad thing. It’s never been bad to take care of yourself.
The only reason why we think that being selfish is bad is that other people have convinced us of it. They make us feel bad for not being there for them, even when we physically can’t.
Being selfish has nothing to do with your love for other people but it has everything to do with how much you love yourself. Because of that, make yourself a priority, and don’t forget to be selfish.
Eliminate the guilt that comes with it because you don’t have to explain your actions to anyone. You have the right to be selfish with your time, your energy, or your resources, so remember that.
6. Understand that it’s okay to say no
Just because your friends are going out doesn’t mean that you have to go as well, especially if you’re feeling drained from a very tiring day at work. You can go out with them another time.
If they get angry at you for saying no and refusing to go out, then that’s on them for not respecting your boundaries.
We agree to so many things that we don’t even want to do simply because we don’t want to make other people feel bad. We don’t want to make anyone mad, so we make them a priority.
For goodness sake, please make yourself a priority.
There’s nothing wrong with choosing to spend a night at home instead of going out to a loud club. You have the right to choose whatever feels good to you.
You don’t have to go along with the pack whenever you feel a fear of missing out. No. Have the self-respect needed and do things that won’t make you feel awful.
7. Learn how to ask for help
Have you ever noticed how easy it is for other people to ask you for help but when you have to ask someone, it feels like a crime? You feel like you’re shouldn’t be asking them for anything.
You’ve known nothing but your own independence. You feel like you should be able to deal with problems by yourself, so why are others so free to ask you for anything they need?
You’re always the one to help your friends, family, and even strangers if they need it, so ask for help yourself.
You can’t do everything by yourself. I’m so sorry to tell you this but you can’t.
You want to be the one friend who doesn’t need anyone but herself but at some point, you’ll break as well, so please ask for help. When your mental health is getting worse, you need to take better care of yourself, and sometimes, taking care of yourself includes other people.
Ask your friends to be there for you. You’re always there to help others, so let them help you too.
However, your friends won’t know that they have to help you if you don’t ask for it. They can’t read your mind.
If you want to make yourself a priority, please make sure to give yourself permission to ask for help. Sometimes, that help may include going to therapy and that’s completely okay.
Once you do this for yourself, your everyday life will change for the better.
8. Love your body
Your body can be a very triggering topic to talk about. Believe me, I know the struggles that come with hating your body.
What you have to understand is that your body does so much for you. It moves you and gives you the energy to achieve all of your goals
Your body contains a heart that loves and a brain that can make up the best dreams ever.
One would think that we would love a body like this unconditionally but society has told us that everything about our body is completely wrong. Loving your own body has become a sin in our society.
Rebel against these standards. Show the world that you can love your body no matter what it looks like.
However, loving your body also includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and getting exercise. Don’t forget to take a walk and to stretch and just because you get more work done when you skip a meal or two, it doesn’t mean that it’s good for you.
Please remember to eat. Make yourself a priority and make your health a priority.
You can’t be happy if your body isn’t taken care of.
Personal growth is amazing but your physical needs have to be taken care of. Your body should be so much more important to you; not the way it looks but its health.
9. Embrace your emotions
The very moment you embrace your emotions, it’s going to change your life. Self-care is so much more than drinking enough water (even though that’s crucial) but it’s also a lot of internal work.
None of your emotions are inherently bad. Your emotions are valid even in their most raw form.
Especially as a woman, people will tell you that you’re too dramatic or too emotional. They tell you that you blow things out of proportion when you’re upset and end up crying.
Another issue that you face is people expecting you to hold your anger in because we’ve been taught that women don’t have a right to be mad. That’s a big problem in the long run because you pile up those emotions.
Yes, women are more likely to express their emotions than men are but we still get to a boiling point. However, society doesn’t let us express our emotions properly.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should throw stuff around when you’re annoyed but make sure to express your anger through healthy communication.
Don’t just stay silent when someone hurts you or insults you and instead let them know how they make you feel!
Just like every other woman, do you promise yourself to keep a journal whenever the New Year comes around? You think that it’s one of the simplest ways to keep track of your own mind and emotions.
But like most, you’ve not been true to your promise.
Journaling is actually the best thing you can do for yourself. You can write down anything and everything that’s going on inside you because that’s your safe space.
Make yourself a priority by spending some time each day on writing in your journal. You can even keep a gratitude journal.
When we experience burnout, we forget that there are things in this world to be grateful for. When those things are gone, you’ll learn the hard way that you should’ve enjoyed it all.
You can journal the very moment you open your eyes and sometimes, you don’t need more than five minutes to write about the things that have been troubling you.
11. Let go of the people who are holding you back
A crucial part of making yourself a priority is letting go of the toxic people in your life. They’ll try to bring you down or tell you that you’re not enough or they’ll simply use you for their own satisfaction.
Do you have people in your life who always contact you to tell you about their own life without ever asking you if you’re doing okay?
Are there people in your life right now who forget to include you in their plans but they always get mad if you forget to include them?
Those aren’t people who should stay in your life, especially if they take every opportunity to make you feel bad about anything you do in your life. They get jealous when you achieve something and they don’t know how to hype you up.
Why would you need them close to you? You need people who will give you the same effort and energy as you give them.
Make yourself a priority and don’t let those people into your life anymore.