The idea of putting ourselves first sounds selfish. To a lot of us, it sounds like something you’re never really supposed to do, especially if you want to be a good, kind person who cares for those around them. However, self-care and confidence are actually an essential part of the process; they are the things that enable us to actually be the kind-hearted people that we want to be. It took me a long time to realise this, but me putting myself first meant that I was better at handling problems in life, it meant that I was more present and supportive of my family. If you are anxious and worried, if you think you’ve been neglecting your own needs for a long time, then it’s time to chat and figure out how you can change your priorities.
Health comes first
How long have you been postponing that checkup because there’s simply “more important things to deal with right now”? There is nothing and no one that comes before your own health, especially because getting sick will render you completely unable to help those that you want to help. Getting sick will only make you weak and tired, and it can really damage all your goals in the long run. Exercising, a healthy diet, and regular checkups are important if you want to stay strong and lead an easier life.
Your work can wait
Your career is important and should definitely be one of the priorities in life, but it’s not everything. If you keep skipping family dinners and doing overtime just to earn an extra buck, the chances are you’ll only end up miserable and possibly alienate your family. It will also give your boss an excuse to push you further than you can take, so it’s very important to establish your own boundaries and to know when to step back, take a day off, and rest. This can actually benefit your career because you’ll have some time to recuperate and get back to work with some fresh ideas and energy.
My mom always used to say that if you want to have love in your life, you should first love yourself. But we’re Aussies, and low confidence seriously cramps our style, so we have a very healthy approach to mental wellbeing. Taking that half an hour a day to enjoy a long bath or indulge in some nourishing skincare may seem completely trivial, but it’s actually quite important – it simply gives you a chance to recharge your batteries. The point is, don’t underestimate your own hobbies, interests, and the little things you can do to feel better.
Confidence is attractive
The vicious cycle of negativity and neglect only leads to a very bad self-image. Instead of enjoying life, we end up wasting time on doubt and fear, so we end up wasting opportunities. Instead of self-deprecating humor and constant criticizing, why not take some time to appreciate yourself instead? Smile more often, write down things you love about yourself in your journal, wear the outfits you never dared to put on before. Give compliments to others and accept the ones they give to you with a graceful smile instead of disbelief.
Relationships will get better
Like I said, confidence is attractive, and people who are constantly tired and in bad mood are not very fun to be around. Even with best of intentions, you can’t be there for others if you’re exhausted and sick. Putting yourself first shows them that you’re competent, that you know how to handle problems and deal with life, and that you’ll have the energy and willpower to solve issues and provide assistance.
Putting yourself first isn’t a sign of selfishness, it’s a sign of a well-adjusted individual. Kindness comes easier when you’re well-rested and happy, and being cheerful and genuine will spread that positive energy around and make others really glad to be in your company.