Written by therapist Bria McCalpin
In our daily lives, we can get caught up in our many different relationships and responsibilities to the point that making time for ourselves can be omitted, emphasizing our other priorities. Whether these relationships are with partners or friends, or if these responsibilities include work or parenting, we can sometimes lose ourselves in the process. Putting other people’s needs before your own is not beneficial for you long-term. This is not saying to put yourself first regardless of others and your obligations, however, it is vital to keep a balance between caring for yourself and others.
Establish Your Priorities
Before taking action to prioritize yourself, it is best to spend some time reflecting on what your priorities are. This list can look like several things such as health, family, work, pets, community, hobbies, etc. Your priorities should not be what you think others prioritize, but instead what are significant and meaningful to you. Additionally, it is important to note that some priorities can connect to each other, health is a prime example. If your health is a main concern of yours, but you start neglecting it, it can affect your other priorities such as family or work. The value of caring for yourself presents in your relationships and work, so investing in your priorities can contribute to your overall happiness and quality of commitments.
Be Mindful of Any Hurdles
Sometimes it’s easier said than done when we want to adjust our lives. You may be reading this blog and have some thoughts as to why you cannot make yourself a priority, and that is okay. Nevertheless, you may want to consider why you are holding back from doing so. Does it feel unattainable? Do you feel like you don’t deserve it? What’s stopping you from making yourself a priority? These are all important questions to be aware of if you are noticing you are limiting yourself to prioritize others. Pay attention to your answers to these questions if they come up, as it can help you note what you may specifically need to work on to make yourself a priority.
Putting it into Practice
It can be difficult to learn to prioritize yourself, but it’s essential. As previously stated, our priorities are linked together, so if you are overextending yourself in one area, then other areas can feel those effects. It’s important to note that there are going to be some areas that go through substantial changes (but not too grand). You may notice you spend less time on one area, while increasing time significantly in another. Again, it’s about having balance and accepting help when needed. For this to happen, you may want to have conversations with the people around you so they know you want to focus on yourself, explaining to them the benefits of improving you and your life in the long run.
Have you always struggled with putting others before you? Or made it a part of your identity? Putting yourself first is not saying you do not care about your other responsibilities, but recognizing you are a priority as well. If you want support in finding and keeping a balance, or find it difficult to put yourself first, contact us to meet with one of our therapists, who will sit with you and discuss how you can reprioritize your life. Give us a call today!