Updated: Sep 19, 2020
Putting yourself first doesn’t mean you’re selfish or a bad person. Really, it doesn’t!
I saw a quote the other day which resonated with me.
“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm”- Anon,
By putting yourself first, it means you’re smart enough to know that you can’t provide for anyone else’s needs, unless you’ve provided for your own first. Plus, I don't have a fire extinguisher guys so you'd be in trouble.
In my previous blog, I talked about the impact finally realising this had on my life, so I wanted to share some of my go to tips with you lovely folk.
So go get a cuppa (don’t worry I’ll wait), put your feet up and choose to put yourself first.
Tip #1 - PLANNING
Life is hectic for all of us and so it’s super easy to say “Oh, I didn’t have time today, maybe I’ll try and squeeze something in for myself tomorrow”.
Sorry, uh-uh. This is not helpful and future you will not thank present you for it. The longer we tell ourselves we are not important enough to prioritise, then the longer we will find the balancing act of life somewhat of a struggle.
Looking at the week ahead of you, and I don’t mean using my old “diets always start on a Monday” mentality, I mean what ever day of the week you’re reading this on, plan some time in for yourself over the next 7 days. Even just 15 minutes a day, solely dedicated to yourself will make a difference to your mindset.
Set an alarm or a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget and commit to sticking to your plans. It might help to enlist the help of your other half, family member(s) or colleague(s) before hand so they know that you will be unavailable for the period of time you have set aside. Plus you won't be tempted then to "check-in" and make sure they're surviving without you.
This time is for you remember so make it count….!
Tip #2 - JOURNALING
Keep a pen and notebook handy, or create a “note” on your phone to track your thoughts and feelings throughout each day.
Being honest, I was super skeptical about this initially as I thought anything that made me anxious or overwhelmed, I just had to grit my teeth and deal with it - I mean, how could writing about it possibly help?!
How wrong I was. By keeping a track throughout the day, it was much easier to spot the things that affected my mood - both positively and negatively. Once you know what these things are, you can plan to do more of what makes you happy and the things that don’t, well, if you don’t have to do them, simply don’t. If you do have to do them, then try and find a way to limit or tweak it so that the amount of negative energy it adds to your day is as small as possible.
In the end, the pull of buying new stationary to write things down in, lured me in and I’m so glad it did. Give it a go!
Tip #3 - SAYING NO
Our time is precious and so its important we use it wisely.
Speaking up for yourself and saying no to something that you know isn’t going to contribute positively to your life is a hard thing to do, especially for us people pleasers.
The hard truth is that you can’t please everyone.
In life, no matter how hard you try, not everyone will appreciate your efforts or like you in return. And you know what? That’s absolutely fine. You are not here to make everyone like you, so don’t take that burden on your shoulders.
If you know that something is going to be a drain of your time and energy, and take time away from something that is a higher priority for you, then brave it and say “No thanks”.
Be sensible though - please don't go around telling your boss "No thanks, I don't think I'll come in today, maybe tomorrow"!
Tip #4 - CLEAR YOUR MIND
Those nights when you’re laying in bed with a million thoughts running through your mind are my personal favourite. I jest.
With all the responsibilities and pressures we have in life, it’s natural that our brains are constantly working at lightning speed. It’s good to slow them down sometimes and give them a break.
There are lots of ways you may chose to do this; it’s whatever works best for you and that you get the most out of that’s important.
It may be something for your mind, body and soul, such as yoga or meditation. Or it maybe something more physical such as going to the gym and hitting the treadmill or the weights machine.
All forms of exercise are great, from both a physical and mental perspective. Whether it be a low intensity swimming session or a high intensity HIIT class - get up, get active and get your mind clear.
For me, I love getting out for a walk in the fresh air to help with my internal re-set button. But whatever you chose to do, I applaud you for it.
Tip #5 - CREATE A “YOU” SPACE
Try and nab a corner of your home that you can call yours.
If you’re a bookwork like me and love to read, why not create yourself a little reading nook.
Or, if you’ve got green fingers and love gardening, set yourself up with your own little corner of paradise where its relaxing for you to sit, bask in the sunshine and have a cheeky G&T.
Basically somewhere your other half, children and pets haven't already claimed - that's your go to place for some peace, quiet and you time. Anywhere you can escape is the key to this one.
Tip #6 - LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Have you always wanted to try something but have never quite got round to it?
Always wanted to upcycle a dressing table you’ve had your eye on in the charity shop?
Always wanted to complete an interior design course?
Always wanted to learn to speak a different language?
Well now is the time to research your options and give it a go. If not now, then when? One of mine was writing a blog and hey presto, here we are! Magic.
Tip #7 - ROOM REVIEW
Is there a room in your house that every time you walk into it, you feel annoyed, frustrated or overwhelmed by what you see?
Mine is the garage. In fact, I’m annoyed thinking about it now. Grr.
If you have a room that makes you feel like this, plan some small changes to help reduce those negative feelings. Small steps are less overwhelming, but can make a big difference.
It might be that you want to organise your wardrobe so you can find the items you want more easily without having to visit Narnia each day to drag them out.
Maybe organising your kitchen cupboards so that your herbs and spices are all easily accessible and correctly labelled will do the trick for you.
Or it could even be that a fresh lick of paint, some new bedding or a couple of scatter cushions instantly improve your thoughts towards the space you inhabit.
Take 5 minutes and go and stand in each room in your house, it may seem crazy but it helps with the visualisation - which room are you least happy in and what small thing(s) can you do to improve that?
Tip #8 - HAPPY TIMES
Remind yourself of happy memories by sorting out your photographs.
It might be physical photographs (how retro) from your family holidays or celebrations. Or it could be that you're all modern and you organise the photos you store on your phone/tablet into albums.
If you're a crafty type, you could set aside some time to make your very own scrapbook.
Alternatively, you could design a photo-book or plan a photo collage on an empty wall. Or simply, even just switch out some of the current photos you have up on display around the house for a change of scenery,
If worst comes to worst, put 5 minutes aside just to look though and laugh at your partner’s toddler photos in their 1980’s corduroy dungarees and velcro shoes… or is that just me?!
Any of the above are more than acceptable to tick this one off your list.
Tip #9 - MUSIC
Music is definitely good for the soul.
Sing in the shower.
Blast the tunes out whilst cleaning.
Pump up the jam whilst your at the gym.
Listen to Mozart in the bath.
Basically whatever floats your musical boat and gets you in the groove.
Those happy hormones come out dancing too and immediately improve your mood. Plus depending on how serious your dance moves are and how well you cut those shapes, it could double up as a workout.
A listen to your favourite song is such a quick way to give yourself a boost so set that playlist up and enjoy your tunes.
Tip #10 - DO SOMETHING YOU HAVEN’T DONE IN AGES
Before you grew up, became attached, had kids, cats and dogs and had to start working for a living, what was it that you used to enjoy doing?
Ok, so some of that stuff I don’t recommend you do now… depending on how much of a misspent youth you had! I certainly don’t want any comments from angry partners saying their other half has taken to drinking cider in the park like when they were a teenager, that’s for sure!
I’m thinking more, when was the last time you watched your favourite film? When did you last visit your favourite restaurant? When did you last have a pamper session and a nice relaxing bath with candles? When did you last call your best friend for a gossip?
As long as it makes you smile - do it!
That might be all well and good I hear your say, but what if you simply don't have time? In my next blog I'm going to talk about how becoming more organised will free you up to be able to well and truly put yourself first.
Thank you for taking the time to read my second blog and I hope you’ve enjoyed it!
If you do like what you've read and I’ve inspired you to try something from my list, please let me know... I love to know how you're getting on. You can also subscribe via the website and you’ll be cleverly notified when my next blog is out too - how exciting!
Any questions or comments, as always feel free to contact me. I L.O.V.E to hear from you.
Until next time lovelies. xoxo
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