We are taught from childhood that it’s kind to put others first, and as a child, it gives us a sense of purpose and makes up happy. But at some point putting others first causes us to feel resentment. Here are my 5 damn good reasons you should give yourself permission to make yourself a priority.
1. You can not serve from an empty vessel
You’ve probably heard this phrase before, but not really give it any thought. Basically, it means while you have been tending to the needs of others, your energy has been depleting and you’ve not had a chance to recharge. There’s only so much you can do when your batteries are running low. Guess what happens when they run out – you flip, you throw a paddy on how you are sick of looking after everyone else, feeding the kids, cleaning the house. You resent anyone who asks you to do anything. The longer it goes on, the more you despise people and the more you crave alone time. Prioritising yourself isn’t selfish, it’s the same as plugging in your phone to charge after you’ve battered the battery.
Guess what happens when they run out – you flip, you throw a paddy, start shouting how you are sick of looking after everyone else, feeding the kids, cleaning the house. You resent anyone who asks you to do anything. The longer it goes on, the more you despise people and the more you crave alone time. Prioritising yourself isn’t selfish, it’s the same as plugging in your phone to charge after you’ve battered the battery.
2. You will inspire others to take better care of themselves
As a kid I watched my mum serve from that empty vessel, she spent her days looking after us, cleaning the house, biting her teeth with her husband and making lists of all the things she needed to do. She spent her entire day doing something for the family. This manic activity seemed honourable on the surface, but deep down she was run down and very unhappy. She felt guilty about lying in the bath with a book or spending money on herself and I took on those same beliefs in my early 20’s when I became a mum. It took me til my mid 30’s to start to change them. So I don’t want my own daughter growing up to think that she should put everyone else first, or that time spent in self-care such as looking after her body and her sanity isn’t as important as everyone else needs. I do this by teaching by example. Such as making my daily meditation practice a normal thing, practising mindfulness while we walk to school. I’ve even shown her EFT (emotional freedom technique) and stressed the importance of loving and excepting herself just as she is.
3. It’s good for your mental health and self-esteem.
We focus so much on our physical health, but I believe that our mental health is much more important. Afterall all our choices about food and diet come from our brain, so improving mental health can only improve our physical health. For me, my mental health takes a steep nose dive when I don’t prioritise my own needs. I need quality time with my thoughts, or I can slip into depression even when I’m taking anti depressants. I get mean, I dislike people, I avoid social interactions and I have the shortest temper known to man! Self-care, particularly meditation and journaling have been a life saver for me, and it means there have been no dead bodies for me to bury.
4. It forces you to focus on yourself
This goes back to the putting everyone else before yourself mentality being the right thing to do. For some actually spending time focusing on themselves will be scary, I have been known in the past to focus on all the stuff I need to do to avoid dealing with my slip back into depression. But by focusing on yourself, you get to understand yourself more, you begin to see your wants and desires, find your talents, you find you again.
5. It gives you time to really think
We all think, all of the time, but prioritising you and particular your self-care gives you the permission to slow your thinking brain down and feel less overwhelmed with everything that’s going on. By slowing down your thoughts you’ll see patterns, easier ways to achieve things, ideas flow and you’ll feel less like you’re putting out fires.
Understand the need to put yourself first, but still struggling with justifying it to yourself?
Download my free affirmations (they’re just things to tell yourself every day) to move past that ickiness start putting yourself first.