One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to put yourself first without feeling guilty for doing so.
In life, we mainly look after the people around us and leave little time to put ourselves on the top of the priority list. For everyone to function well, it means being able to spend time doing things you like or simply taking time for yourself by going for a walk or seeing friends.
Here are some reasons why you need to put yourself first and how to do it:
We live in an increasingly busy world and finding time for yourself is hard, but as more and more people are burnt out (which could potentially be avoided by taking time to rest and refuel), we need to pay attention.
For busy parents, it seems impossible to put yourself first and yet, a frazzled and increasingly tired parent is one that is not going to give their best to their kiddies.
For you to give your best you need to recognise the times when you need a break and take it so you can be a better partner, child or employee. This may seem difficult, but it can be done and more importantly, it should be done.
It’s ok to say no when you can’t do things and though it may seem like the end of the world if you don’t do everything – it isn’t. Prioritise what is most important and drop the less important tasks to clear your “to do” list and give yourself some time to care for yourself.
You may say, “people depend on me” and it’s hard to turn your back but you don’t have to ignore everything - you just need to do a little less so you can have time for you.
Often, busy parents are caring for older relatives, their children and juggling work as well – it is the norm in today’s busy world. These obligations are non-negotiable but going forward, no one can do it all and you must find space to have time for yourself.
Talk to others who can help you, be it other family members, friends or your employer. If you are struggling with care for an elderly parent while working, you may be able to take some temporary leave and if not, you may need to look at more long-term options for your parent.
None of these decisions come easily but if you reach breaking point, then you will be no use to anyone and if your own health is compromised, you’ll find it harder to manage your daily duties.
Taking a small bit of time during the week must be a priority and it can be achieved by letting yourself not be absolutely “perfect” and understanding that the world won’t fall apart if the hoovering isn’t done. The kids won’t be mad if they eat a takeaway once in a while and if you need to go out to have some time yourself, everything will be fine.
Never forget the importance of your mental health and well-being which will allow you to care for those you love and do what you need to do. You need to be happy and healthy first and foremost so you can do what is needed.